SWISSAID Management Evaluation
In the context of revamping SWISSAID’s program in Tanzania through a stronger orientation on results on the one hand and the implementation of new program and project management standards on the other hand, a third aspect came into play, namely to shift program responsibility and accountability from HQ to the Country Representative and the management committee in Tanzania.
From October 2017, the country program in Tanzania has been supported and accompanied by a program advisor rather than a program manager in CH. The difference being that the program advisor has no supervisory role, hence can’t be held accountable for decisions pertaining to the program in Tanzania. The line management for the Country Representative lies with the Head of Department Development Cooperation, implying a closer involvement of the Head of Department in the Programme.
The rationale for adopting this model was based on the principle of subsidiarity stipulating that programme related issues should be dealt with at the most immediate level consistent with their resolution.
The evaluation of such a redistribution of roles and responsibilities shall inform SWISSAID about whether possible efficiency as well as effectiveness gains can be made with such a model and at what costs, whether technical support to country offices can/should be strengthened, and whether it is advisable to adapt support structures in Switzerland to existing in-country capacities. Such insights can be useful and inform the conversation around future organisational development following SWISSAID’s new strategy. In accordance to a board decision the Tanzania model is considered a pilot that needs to be evaluated in order to assess the value added of such a model.
Scope and Goal of the Evaluation:
The focus of the present evaluation is to assess the strengths and limitations of the SWISSAID Tanzania country program management model in place. This related to (i) the overall program quality in terms of results orientation, financial and management efficiency, and (ii) the interplay with line-management, advisory and support services from HQ.
The overall goal of the evaluation is to inform SWISSAID’s executive board about the value added by the Tanzania management model, its criteria of success and its potential replicability to other partner countries.
The evaluation will cover the last 12 months.
Is the current management structure (roles and responsibilities) of SW Tanzania aligned with its Program? SW Tanzania has a mandate expressed in a country program and operationalized through a series of development projects. It will be the evaluators’ task to assess whether the level of decision making authority currently present in TZ is adequate for efficient and effective program implementation, whether existing roles and responsibilities of management committee members are conducive to manage SW Tanzania’s operations on the ground and how the interplay of the triangle line-management/Program Advisor/Country Representative serves its needs.
Are current budget management responsibilities at country office level adequate with operational requirements on the one hand and management capacities on the other hand? The evaluator will determine whether budget authority, budget autonomy, budget ownership is efficiently allocated and also look at whether program-funding responsibility should be reviewed and in case of donor funded programs reflect on adequate donor reporting mechanisms and quality assurance.
Where should Country Program decisions-making responsibility lie, with a program manager in Switzerland or a Country Representative in Tanzania? The Evaluator will weigh the pros and cons and risks of both options and formulate a clear recommendation which option to favor in principle. The answer should be given in a general sense, identifying the necessary preconditions for a model such as in Tanzania.
Where should line management responsibilities for the Country Representative Position in Tanzania be? Currently for lack of a better alternative, line management responsibilities for the CR in Tanzania rests with the Head of Department. Under the assumption that extensive programme and budget responsibilities come with clearly defined management benchmarks such a line management is currently framed as “management by exception”. The evaluator shall explore whether other HQ base functions could assume such line management responsibilities.
What are the realized or potential effectiveness and efficiency gains in Tanzania and HQ that are due to a shift of programme and budget responsibility to the Country Representative? After having implemented the model for one year the consultant shall evaluate whether decision making has been quicker, business processes leaner, communication between HQ and field more direct etc. In this context the impact of new digital and automation tools, notably the M&E software, should also be duly taken into consideration, as these have an important influence on the HQ-Country Office relations.
How can the Country Representative/the Management Committee be best supported at HQ? The Country Office in Tanzania has a dedicated Program Advisor at its disposal as well as a direct link to a finance officer. For specific purposes, technical support is provided for the area of Gender, M&E, and agroecology. The evaluator shall explore whether these support structures are adequate.
In short, what are the relevant criteria to determine the appropriate country program management model? How do you determine a minimum threshold of conditions necessary to consider decentralized program management? Which critical functions and strategic services does SWISSAID want to maintain at the HQ and why.
- The evaluator shall compare the Tanzania Model with the other SWISSAID model currently in place (e.g. Chad, Niger etc.) focusing on functions and profiles rather than persons
- The evaluator shall compare the similarities and differences between Tanzania and Myanmar as both are operating on the same model in order to tease out generally valid conclusion
- The evaluator shall take into account other international organizations to learn how other organizations have dealt with the delegation of responsibilities to their country offices.
- While the evaluation shall look at all evaluation criteria (relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability) a particular focus shall be given on the effectiveness and efficiency criteria
The Budget allocated for this evaluation is around USD 12’000.
Interested consultants are invited to submit technical and a financial proposal. Deadline: 23 November 2018
Submissions can be sent to: Jeremias Blaser, firstname.lastname@example.org