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Consultant for Final Review – Ziway-Shalla: Basin in Balance project

Review period: 26th February 2024 to 26th April 2024

Project duration: Five and a half years (1st of October 2018 to 30th of April 2024)

Implementing organisations: Acacia Water, Joytech, Meki Batu Cooperatives Union, Rift Valley Lakes Basin Administration Office, Wetlands International (lead), World Waternet

Project Location: Ethiopia, Ziway-Shalla basin

Funding: This project is funded by the Sustainable Water Fund of the Dutch Enterprise Agency (RVO)

Project background and context

In September 2018, with support of RVO we set out to implement the Ziway-Shalla Basin in Balance (ZSBiB) project. This project is located in the Ziway-Shalla basin where in 2018, water imbalance is currently posing a threat to all three functions of the basin. The volume of water drawn from the Lake Ziway for irrigation purposes has been increasing in the last two decades, with declining water quantity and deteriorating water quality as a result. Furthermore, erosion caused by unsustainable land use, deforestation and overgrazing in the watershed have aggravated the problems as sediment is now filling up the shallow lake. If business as usual continues, Lake Abijatta, which has already lost 35% of its surface area since the year 2000, may well disappear within the coming two decades causing a collapse of the bird populations and water related economic activities in the area. Households, farmers, fishermen and other water users in and around Lake Ziway will face water shortages due to declining water levels and sedimentation while the increased use of agro-chemicals and water discharge by the industry will contribute to increasing water pollution levels.

This project aims to tackle four interlinked problems contributing to the depletion of water resources in the Ziway-Shalla sub-basin, namely:

  1. Uncontrolled and inefficient irrigation practices by smallholder horticultural farmers,
  2. Inappropriate institutional framework for management of basin resources;
  3. Lack of organisation structures and capacities at the basin authority level;
  4. Unsustainable agricultural practices at upland farms and subsequent catchment degradation.

The development goal of this project is twofold:

  • To ensure a balanced Ziway-Shalla Basin ecosystem with a sustainable and transparent water usage and distribution system.
  • To improve water security and income of agricultural producers, particularly small farmers and women, in the lake Ziway catchment area.

Wetlands International (WI) is the lead organisation of the Ziway-Shalla Basin in Balance project. The consortium consists of both Dutch and Ethiopian organisations, namely Acacia Water (AW), Joytech (JT), Meki Batu Cooperatives Union (MB), Rift Valley Lakes Basin Administration Office (RVLBAO) and World Waternet (WWn). Overall program management is lead by Wetlands International Global Office, whereas Wetlands International Eastern Africa/Ethiopia is the corresponding entity at the level of Ethiopia responsible for collaboration with in-country partners.  

Purpose and objectives of the Final Review

The primary purpose of the Final Review is to create a better understanding of the impact of this project on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) within the Ziway-Shalla Sub-basin and the wider Ethiopian context.

The review will specifically assess the following:

  • Assess the added value of the project to IWRM in Ziway-Shalla Sub-basin, by analysing the results of the project in relation to its objective, purpose and outputs/outcomes and theory of change;
  • Identify the project strengths and enabling factors, and formulate recommendations how these can be used to further enhance IWRM in Ziway-Shalla Sub-basin and beyond;
  • Identify the project challenges encountered, project’s weaknesses, and bottlenecks encountered and formulate recommendations accordingly;
  • Assess the impact of the project on the wider Water Management sector within Ethiopia;
  • Assess the functioning of the partnership (including public and private partners) and provide recommendations for the specific context of IWRM;
  • Lessons learnt for other sub-basins and next programmes for IWRM in Ethiopia (e.g. BRIGHT)

In addition and replying to above main review questions, the review will include reference to the below in the assessment as well:

  • Relevance: To what extent were the project objectives and design responding to the needs of the primary stakeholders and country’s needs?
  • Coherence: To what extent was the project compatible with other interventions in the country, sector and institutions?
  • Efficiency: Were resources used wisely?
  • Effectiveness: To what extent did the project achieve, or is expected to achieve, its objectives and its results?
  • Impact: To what extent did the project generate significant positive or negative, intended or unintended, high-level effects?
  • Sustainability: To what extent did the net benefits of the intervention continue or are likely to continue after the project is finished through involved local, regional, national stakeholders?

Final Review consultant/team

The final review will be carried out by a firm or an independent consultant. The consultant / review team will be supported by representatives from the consortium. The review will be done involving the project implementation team, beneficiaries and partners as far as possible.

The results from of the review will be disseminated as follows:

  • Organization of a workshop on 15th of April to discuss draft results and draft recommendations with the ZSBiB consortium members,  RVO, and possibly the Netherlands Embassy, Group)
  • Sharing of the draft and final review report with RVO, Wetlands International & consortium partners.

The scope of the Final Review and methodology

The methodology proposed by the review team will be based on a participatory approach that includes project team and the different beneficiaries and actors (stakeholders) involved in the project, and incorporate:

  1. Review and analysis of project documents;
  2. Project sites observation
  3. Key informant interviews: Interviews and focus groups with key partners/stakeholders/target implementation partners of the project at all relevant levels (regional, national, ecoregion, landscape) within Wetlands International staff, representatives from Government, target Platforms, CBOs, etc. The review team will select the interviewed entities/people through a sampling method, and consider the different genders. Key questions will be used during interviews and focus groups;
  4. Beneficiary consultations: Consultations (focus group discussions and interviews) with groups of beneficiaries at all relevant levels (national, landscape), i.e., grassroots community organizations (small-scale producers, women, youth, members of farmers’ organizations, BMUs, etc.);
  5. Review matrix to integrate the criteria and indicators for the review, detailed methodologies and related tools.

The review team may propose other participatory methods. The review team will use a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods for data analysis. There will be a clear emphasis on participatory methods for the qualitative assessment of the information provided by the project beneficiaries. It should be noted that a more detailed methodology, work plan and review matrix will be developed and proposed by the review team in the technical proposal of the tender.

The data collection methods and the analysis of the results will be based on the main review questions defined in Chapter 2.

Profile of the final review team leader and offer submission procedure

The review team leader is responsible for the conduct of the review mission. As such, he/she is responsible for meeting the deadlines and producing the results of the mission. He/she must organize the team and prepare the details, coordinate the mission, set the timetable and is responsible for the finalization of the reports (draft report and final report). The review team leader must demonstrate experience and skills in evaluation methodology and participatory research techniques (interviews, questionnaires, methodological elections, operationalization of indicators, etc.) and have competencies linked to the purpose and outputs of the review, namely:

  • Minimum MSc in Water management, Socio-Economic development, Environmental development or related field;
  • At least 7 years of experience in evaluating international and regional natural resources/environmental projects, preferably including experience in Ethiopia;
  • Experience in design, participatory diagnosis, monitoring and evaluation and analysis of development projects executed through international NGOs and with donor support
  • Experience in IWRM projects that take a participatory approach with communities, local development partners and governments
  • Experience in integrated landscape management projects that address gender and social inclusion and conflict sensitivity
  • Good communication in English and knowledge of Amharic will be an added advantage. Good writing skills in English;
  • Having already conducted a similar assignment (references required).

The review team leader’s offer shall include the following:

  1. A letter of bid duly signed;
  2. A technical proposal (maximum 6 pages) that details:
  3. The applicant’s understanding of the TOR;
  4. Suggested detailed methodology;
  5. Draft Work plan;
  6. Experience with similar previous assignments indicating field of specialization and references;
  7. In annex: at least two sample reports of similar assignment which will be treated confidentially;
  8. In annex: CV of all members of the review team and possible track record
  9. A financial proposal showing the total cost (in Euro), professional fees and reimbursable expenses (e.g., travel costs, field work, materials, etc.). The financial proposal must cover all costs associated with this review; costs incurred outside the terms agreed in the financial proposal and final contract will not be reimbursed. The offer will also state the details of the amount not including taxes and including all taxes. Any special exemption should be clearly stated.

Proposals will be scored according to the following criteria and have to score at least 45 points on the technical proposal to be considered further:

The offer must be submitted to: [email protected] no later than end of day on 14th February 2024, and bearing the subject in the email: ZSBiB final Review proposal.

These are further details for the offer:

  • Perusal and evaluation of offers: The offers will be sorted by Wetlands International by 20th February 2024. An evaluation committee will be tasked to assess the eligible offers. The choice will be based on technical capacity. The final choice will be made considering the budget available for this action.
  • Reserve on cancelling the bid: The present invitation to bid can be cancelled due to the conditions below:
  • There has not been enough competition;
  • No offer meeting the requirements of the invitation to bid has been received;
  • The offers accepted at the time of the perusal by far exceeded the available budget.
  • Conditions for carrying out the mandate:
  • The service will be subject to a contract and will be added as an appendix to the present ToR and the offer shall be validated.
  • The review team leader will take up all the tax obligations related to its status of consultancy.
  • The review team will comply with Wetlands International management procedures while performing the services, subject to this offer of consultancy.

Timetable and logistics

The review process will be carried out in the period from 26th February 2024 to 26th April 2024. The consultancy should not exceed 10-15 days.

The review team’s timetable will include the following activities:

  • Desk review of project documents;
  • Development and refining of the review methodology, development of review matrix, sampling strategy and review tools (questionnaires, interview guidelines, etc.);
  • Meeting/focus groups and interviews with the stakeholders of the review (according to the sample strategy);
  • Data analysis;
  • Presentation of preliminary findings to representatives from the consortium;
  • Preparation of the draft review report;

Incorporation of feedback and comments and finalization of the review report.

Outputs and deliverables

The review team leader is fully responsible for the development and submission of the following outputs/deliverables:

  • A detailed and refined timetable of the intervention (for approval) to be submitted no later than 1 March 2024
  • A document detailing the review methodology i.e. the methods and tools for data collection and analysis to be submitted no later than 6 March 2024.
  • The review draft report submitted no later than 8 April 2024 to Wetlands International for feedback and comments;
  • Presentation of preliminary findings and initial conclusions (debriefing with a PowerPoint presentation) to Wetlands International and consortium partners on 15 April 2024;
  • The final draft review report incorporating feedback and comments to be submitted no later than 21 April 2024 to Wetlands International for
  • The final review report (not exceeding 25 pages with an executive summary of 3 pages, excluding annexes) should be submitted to Wetlands International no later than 26 April 2024.

The review team leader will be responsible for drafting the final review report, which should include inputs from the review team as a whole, commentary on the stakeholder/partners/target groups meetings and a set of recommendations.

The draft report will be circulated to the consortium by the project manager of Wetlands International for feedback and comments prior to the scheduled meeting on 15 April 2024.

The review team will consolidate all feedback and comments received prior and during that meeting, and incorporate them to produce the final draft report.

This final draft report will once more be circulated to the consortium for a final review no later than 21 April 2024. Afterwards the consortium will share any remaining feedback/remarks within a couple of days. The review team will have till 26th April 2024 to improve the final report.

The review report will be produced in MS Word format. The draft and final review reports will be delivered in English by the review team leader.


During the implementation of the review, operational & travel costs for consultant team are to be budgeted by the reviewer. If the review requires ZSBiB team members to accompany those costs will be directly supported with the project budget.

The payment of the review team will be performed as follows:

  • 30% of the fees upon signing the contract;
  • 30% of the fees after submission of the preliminary (draft) report;
  • 40% of the fees after submission of the final report to and approval by Wetlands International.

Payment is subject to prior submission of original invoice stating the following information:

  • Reference of the bid;
  • Bank details;
  • The period of execution of the service.

Wetlands International will not make advance payments on the fees. However, any expenses for the mission, in compliance with Wetlands International procedures, are payable in advance once the contract is signed.

Review report structure

The main output of this work is a final report, not exceeding 25 pages with an executive summary of 3 pages, excluding annexes. To this end, the report should include at least the following elements:

1.           Cover page and initial page(s)

  • Name of the review intervention
  • Timing of the review and date of the report
  • Country of the review intervention
  • Names of evaluators
  • Names of the organisation initiating the review
  • Acknowledgements

2.           Table of contents

  • Include boxes, diagrams, tables and annexes with page references

3.           List of acronyms and abbreviations

4.           Executive summary (max 3 p.) with main conclusions and recommendations

5.           Introduction

6.           Objectives and scope of the review (very brief)

7.           Methodological approach to review

8.           Data analysis

9.           Results and conclusions

  • Overall results and conclusions by answering the main review questions
  • Results and conclusions on relevance, effectiveness, efficiency,
  • Overall conclusion

10.         Recommendations

  • Relevant and acceptable recommendations
  • Concrete proposed actions and key partners to implement the actions
  • Responsible units and implementation timeframe
  • Prospects for the future

11.         Best practices and lessons learned

  • What are the main lessons that can be learned from the experience and that may have generic application?
  • What are the best and worst practices in terms of design, engagement, monitoring and review of outputs, activities and partnerships around the outcome?

12.         Report Annexes

  • Final Review TOR
  • Inception Report / review Matrix
  • List of people or groups interviewed or consulted, and sites visited
  • Summary of field visits
  • List of documents used

Annexes to the Final Review ToR

  • Annex 1: Project proposal (separate document)


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