Call for proposals for the Deaconess Foundation’s development cooperation programme evaluation


The Deaconess Foundation is looking for an evaluator for conducting a participatory Programme Evaluation of the Development cooperation programme 2022-2025.

Farija Mehmeti.

Photo: Meeri Koutaniemi

Overview of the Deaconess Foundation and the development cooperation programme for 2022-2025

The Deaconess Foundation works for human dignity. Together with Rinnekodit Ltd, the 156-year-old foundation provides effective social welfare and health services for people in need of special support. Profits from the operations go to supporting those in the most vulnerable situations. Deaconess Foundation’s work targets people in most vulnerable situations and it’s mainly implemented through projects. The work is always done on three levels: the level of an individual person, community and society.

The four-year development cooperation programme of the Deaconess Foundation is built on the Foundation’s long-term experience in development cooperation in Southern and Eastern Africa and Eastern Europe, its key competences which have been developed along the Foundation’s working history and the needs corresponding solutions proposed by the Deaconess Foundation’s local partners. With its development cooperation programme, the Deaconess Foundation aims at having an impact on the realisation of equality, inclusion and wellbeing among the most marginalised young people, minorities and those affected by wars.  The Deaconess Foundation implements its programme together with 17 local civil society actors through 15 projects in eight countries (Belarus, Ethiopia, Kosovo, Moldova, Somaliland, South Sudan, Tanzania, Ukraine.)

The programme has six key outcomes which together aim at achieving impact:

  1. The capacity of the project partners and other targeted civil society actors has been strengthened
  2. Businesses operate more sustainably, and businesses and other employers employ more inclusively
  3. Services provided by local authorities and other service providers to marginalised young people and minorities are more inclusive, functional and of good quality
  4. The roles and capacities of insider reconcilers to stabilise conflicts, and of officials to provide specialised psychosocial services are strengthened
  5. Participation and agency of the minorities, young people in marginalised positions and people affected by conflicts is increased in local communities and societies
  6. Awareness in Finland has increased on development cooperation, issues related to young people in marginalised positions, minorities, and reconciliation, as well as of the business potentials in Africa

The Deaconess Foundation’s programme includes three priority areas to achieve inclusive, equal, and reconciled societies. The three priorities are understood and implemented as inextricably intertwined. By interlinking them we aim to decrease poverty and conflict risks under conditions of global, national, and local inequalities and crisis.

Livelihood and skills development of the most marginalised: The programme offers young people facing marginalisation, minorities, the displaced, and persons with disabilities learning programmes, which develop their skills in personal life management and employability. To promote sustainable change, the programme cooperates with and builds the capacities of private and public sectors to better support people in marginalised positions in strengthening their livelihoods.

Active and resilient civil society: The programme strengthens the skills of representatives of CSOs and marginalised groups in advocacy, policy influencing and networking. The programme also builds enabling environments and structures for dialogue between civil societies and governments.

Peace and trust in communities: The programme focuses on building awareness and skills of insider reconcilers and officials particularly on trauma and psychosocial support. Moreover, the programme interlinks community-based actions in reconciliation with national peace processes. 

Purpose of the evaluation and the target audience

The programme evaluation will be the first comprehensive evaluation of the Deaconess Foundation’s development cooperation programme since Deaconess Foundation received its first programme-based funding in 2022 from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

The purpose of the evaluation is to specifically identify lessons learned and best practices and to make recommendations for the remaining programme period and the planning phase of the new programme for 2026-2029. The findings of the evaluation will also give guidelines on designing the new projects under the new programme phase. The evaluation will also help the Deaconess Foundation to crystallise the added value in its operational sectors.

The results of the assessment will serve both internal and external audiences. Results will be shared with the program partners, project participants, donors, and other stakeholders. 

Scope of the evaluation

 The evaluation time phase will cover the period from the beginning of the programme (1 January 2022) until the start of this evaluation. The evaluation will focus on the whole programme and all projects under its frame. It should be noted that the current programme partly leans on results achieved earlier by projects that started before the current programme period and which were integrated into the programme from 2022 onwards. This means that the documentation provided for the desk review are partly older than 2022.

Evaluation questions

The purpose of the evaluation is to examine and answer the following questions under the programme:

  • How has the programme managed to advance the realisation of human rights of its participants? How could the programme strengthen its human rights-based approach? What are the next steps for the programme to progress to the next level of human-rights based development? (Impact)
  • How can we develop the agency of the partners and participants within the programme? In what ways can we promote partner-led ownership in both designing and implementation of the new programme? How have we succeeded in reaching the most vulnerable groups and how can we ensure reaching them in the future? (Relevance)
  • How sustainable are the results achieved under the strategic priority of livelihood and skills development of the most marginalised? To what extent has the programme contributed creating decent sustainable livelihoods? (Sustainability)
  • How can the integration of cross-cutting objectives (especially environment and climate change and disability inclusion) be strengthened in the implementation of the new programme? (Effectiveness)
  • How have we succeeded in our regional approach? What benefits do partners gain from joint regional projects? How can we expand our regional approach and what benefits would that expansion bring? (Relevance)


The evaluation is based on primary data from the rights-holders, duty-bearers, and partners, and desk review of the secondary data from the relevant sources and context-specific observations. The evaluation will adopt a participatory approach, ensuring that partners, rights-holders, and duty-bearers actively engaged in the programme have a collaborative opportunity to participate and share ownership of the implementation of the programme during the evaluation process. This inclusive approach aims to improve meaningful dialogue and collective learning. The Deaconess Foundation’s partners will participate in some parts of the evaluation process. The scope of the participation will be specified later in collaboration with the Deaconess Foundation, the selected consultant, and the partners.

The main target and stakeholder groups to be consulted in the evaluation are the staff members in the partner organisations, rights-holders and duty-bearers of the projects, and staff members of the Deaconess Foundation. The consultation can include for example interviews, focus group discussions etc. and will be determined upon the inception phase based on the proposed workplan of the selected consultant. The number of consulted key participants to the evaluation will be determined at the inception phase together with the consultant(s) and the Deaconess Foundation.

In order to achieve collective learning in the programme, the consultant(s) is requested to include 1-2 sessions on mutual learning. The consultant(s) can suggest the design and timetable for the sessions in the work plan.

Considering the participatory approach, the consultant(s) can suggest the evaluation methodology to be applied. A mix of methods is recommended to ensure qualitative and quantitative data and evidence is assessed and referred to by the consultant(s).

Travelling to two project sites in East Europe (tentatively Kosovo) and East Africa (tentatively Ethiopia and Somaliland) is part of the assignment and should be considered while designing the work plan (about 6+10 days).

Evaluation process and schedule

Tentative schedule:

  • Deadline for proposals: 21 May 2024
  • Selection of the consultant(s): 31 May 2024
  • Inception phase: June – August 2024 (to be confirmed and agreed together with the consultant)
  • Conducting the assignment: August -October 2024


All the deliverables should be submitted in English language.

  • Kick-off meeting
  • Inception report
  • Inception meeting
  • Draft report
  • Final report
  • Presentation on the findings and recommendations
  • Session(s) on mutual learning (timetable can be suggested in the workplan)

 Document review

  • Programme document 2022-2025 and its annexes
  • Annual plans and reports on programme and project level
  • Project plans of 15 projects
  • Project evaluations
  • Any other supporting documentation


The proposals should be written in English and should include a workplan, detailed schedule, detailed budget, CVs, and references (list of sample works and two examples of previous work) from the interested candidates. In the proposal, the consultant(s) is requested to clearly outline the following:

  • An outline for the approach and preliminary methodology
  • A workplan with timetable and list of the proposed activities with the related inputs and outputs
  • Proposal of working days and budget

The proposals are requested to be submitted via email by 21 May 2024 23:59 GMT+2 to Programme Coordinator Any inquiries can be sent to Senior Programme Manager and

Deaconess Foundation will select the consultant(s) based on their proposals. The selection criteria will include the coherence of the work plan, relevant and cost-effective budget, and the references of the consultant. The selection process may include interviews by the selection committee.

Required qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in relevant field
  • a good understanding of Finland’s Development Cooperation
  • solid experience in conducting programme level evaluations in development cooperation sector
  • experience of human rights-based approach
  • good writing skills and ability to facilitate processes and conduct interviews
  • full working proficiency in English
  • understanding of the programme’s geographical context is an asset
  • working proficiency in Albanian, Romani, or Somali is an asset


The total evaluation budget is 25 000 EUR (incl. VAT). All costs related to travelling to the project sites in East Europe and East Africa will be covered separately.

Operating principles and partner requirements

Deaconess Foundation requires that all its contractual partners follow applicable laws and fair business procedures, and that they act responsibly while averting illicit business. We have zero-tolerance towards corruption in all forms.

In order to comply with these principles, our partners must commit to complying with our Annex 1 HDL Code of Conduct for Suppliers and our Annex 2 Anti corruption policy.


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