Evaluator(s) for Big Belly Business Programme
Evaluator(s) for Big Belly Business Programme
In June 2012, the U.S. Department of State’s Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues partnered with the What to Expect Foundation, and Simply Put Media, to launch the Women’s Health Innovation Program (WHIP). The program is supported through the Secretary’s International Fund for Women and Girls at the Office of Global Women’s Issues, and is being piloted in Liberia and Bangladesh. The WHIP program in Liberia is called Big Belly Business (BBB) – see Annex 1 for more information about the programme.
The design and implementation of the Big Belly Business (BBB) Liberia pilot programme began in 2012 and will end in July 2017. The programme has four stated goals to:
- Provide evidence-based, culturally appropriate pregnancy and parenting materials that are attractive, comprehensive and easy to read, and serve as a catalyst for life-long learning and family literacy to underserved families.
- Create opportunities for low-income women, girls and families to develop critical thinking, planning and decision making skills, build supportive social networks and access healthy work and living situations for themselves, their families and their communities.
- Teach healthcare providers, educators and communities how to use new tools and strategies to understand the needs of families and respectfully and effectively listen, communicate and support low-income women and their families during pregnancy, childbirth and parenting.
- Bring communities together (including fathers, elders and leaders) to support pregnant women and mothers’ health learning and growth, and ensure families receive compassionate information, timely care and opportunities to thrive.
The Big Belly Business program’s philosophy and theory of change is multi-disciplinary in that it brings together research and theory from the related fields of healthcare, adult education, early childhood education, women’s empowerment and social justice. Studies in the social determinants of health, maternal and child health, health literacy, social capital, infant brain development, community impact, respectful maternal care, self-care, and fatherhood engagement (all of which are also reflected in the Sustainable Development goals) inform the overall framework of the Big Belly Business book, program and long-term goals.
The BBB pilot programme has gone through two distinct phases:
- Phase 1 (2012-2014) Programme Design: The US based What to Expect Foundation/Simply Put Media worked with a team in Liberia to: i) create, print and deliver 50,000 copies of a pregnancy guide called Big Belly Business and accompanying materials to the guide (journals/notebooks and pencils) ii) develop a programme and training framework around the guide; iii) identify partner NGOs to implement the programme and a lead Liberian based agency to oversee the programme – Open Society Initiative West Africa (OSIWA) and; iv) form a Liberian Advisory Board to support programme implementation.
- Phase 2 (2014 – present) Programme Implementation: OSIWA houses and supervises the BBB team which consists of two full time and two part time staff. This team continues to receive technical advice from Simply Put Media and it manages implementation of the programme which involves: i) the distribution and tracking of BBB materials; ii) providing support to NGOs implementing the programme; iii) providing training and on-going support to BBB Sisters and Brothers as they implement BBB clubs and; iv) monitoring programme implementation – NGOs have forms to plan, track and self-evaluate their BBB clubs.
The Evaluation and Its Focus
The aims of this evaluation are two-fold to:
- Reflect on programme design and implementation and assess the processes used during each stage. The Open Society Foundations (OSF) and OSIWA operate in other contexts and countries where a similar intervention could be beneficial. It is essential to learn what worked and didn’t work so well in order, potentially, to support replication of this programme elsewhere; and
- Inform the potential scale-up of this programme. The Government of Liberia and its development partners have been observing the BBB programme and have indicated an interest in supporting its scale-up dependent on the results of an independent and rigorous evaluation.
- Relevance – how does the programme fit in with national goals and priorities? Does it address the needs of the main programme beneficiaries i.e. pregnant women and newborn children? Who else has benefitted from the book and program?
- Effectiveness – has the programme met its goals? Are the materials effective? Of the various and diverse interventions that have used the book, what are the most effective? In instances where the book has been distributed to i) expectant parents who do not attend BBB clubs or: ii) health care workers who have not attended BBB Sister/Brother training what has been the effect?
- Efficiency – how efficiently was the programme delivered? Is the programme cost-effective? Were resources for the programme developed and deployed efficiently?
- Sustainability – what is the likelihood of the programme continuing after this initial pilot period? What steps were taken to embed the programme into a national system? Has this been effective?
- Impact – have there been any positive or negative side effects of the programme and if yes, what are they? Has the behavior of programme beneficiaries changed and in if so in what ways?
- Inception – includes creation and approval of a detailed evaluation workplan and budget;
- Data collection and field visits – encompasses both document review and field visits; and
- Analysis and reporting – incorporates presentation
Skills & Competencies
The BBB Evaluator(s) should possess:
- A Master’s degree in education, health, international development, public administration, evaluation or a related field.
- A minimum of 10 years of professional experience specifically in the area of evaluation of international development initiatives.
- Substantial international track record of conducting different types of evaluations, including process, outcome and impact evaluations in different countries and context and experience in designing, conducting and analysing mixed methods approaches.
- Understanding of the development context in Liberia.
- Excellent communication and interview skills.
- Excellent report writing skills.
- Demonstrated ability to deliver quality results within strict deadlines.
- Proficiency in English (written and spoken).
- OSF/OSIWA have a strong preference for an evaluation team that includes at least one Liberian national and/or an individual with substantial experience and knowledge of the Liberian context.
- The CV (s) of the evaluator/evaluation team (each CV should be no longer than 4 pages);
- A short cover note (no longer than a page) expressing your interest;”
- A short concept note (no longer than 4 pages) outlining the methods and approach you would use in undertaking this evaluation; and
- An indicative budget.”