RFSL seeks an external evaluator – Call for proposals

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Terms of Reference for the evaluation of the RFSL program Eastern European Coalition for LGBT+ Equality


RFSL, the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Rights, is a non-profit organization founded in 1950. RFSL works nationally and internationally to advance human rights for LGBTQI persons and has 7000 individual members and around 40 branches in Sweden. 
RFSL’s international work is governed by an international Strategy 2018-2020 and centers around three main areas of work: advocacy, capacity strengthening and sub-granting.

The Eastern European Coalition for LGBT+ Equality program is currently in its second phase of implementation, covering January 1, 2018 – December 31, 2020, with an anticipated 4-month extension in 2021. The implementation of the first phase started in early 2015 and was completed in December 2017. In this program, RFSL supports a regional approach to LGBT+ organizing in Eastern Partnership countries through the Eastern European Coalition for LGBT+ Equality, currently comprising of 6 organizations from 5 countries. The program includes supporting regional capacity-strengthening of LGBT+ movements (regional trainings); improvement of the legal framework for LGBT+ persons in the region (advocacy); increasing awareness of LGBT+ issues and rights (campaigns), and support to LGBT+ individuals (sub-granting to partner organizations). RFSL manages the program from the Stockholm office, through a team of 3-4 staff. Working groups on capacity-strengthening, advocacy, campaigning and procedures have been established including both RFSL staff and Coalition members-partners in the program where these specific directions in the program are discussed in relation to reaching program goals. One strategic meeting is held per year where the Coalition discusses overall needs, challenges and strategic directions for the work in the upcoming year.

The four major objectives of the program; as outlined above are:

1. Strengthening the capacities of the LGBT+ movement in Eastern Partnership

2. Improving the legal framework for LGBT+ rights

3. Increasing the awareness of LGBT+ issues and rights in Eastern Partnership

4. Strengthening the capacities of LGBT+ individuals in the Eastern Partnership region

The total budget of the program is roughly 27 MSEK for the duration of Jan. 1, 2018 – Dec. 31, 2020, with an anticipated no-cost extension until April 30, 2021.


The purpose of the evaluation is

  • To assess the extent to which the approach, management and activities of the program are contributing to achieving the objectives of the program. 
  • To assess the extent to which the program structure is contributing to achieving the program goals
  • To assess to what extent the program is implemented in line with the core principles of RFSL, as set out in the international strategy, as well as in the organization’s Principles Program.
  • To provide recommendations on improvement of current and/or alternative program structure, methods and approaches to maximize the impact of the program.

This is a forward-looking evaluation and, in being so, should include a broader landscape of organizing and new opportunities to advance LGBTQI rights beyond the scope, structure, method and approaches of the current program. The evaluation should provide relevant recommendations for a development of a new program. 

Evaluation Questions and focus

The evaluation should include the following key considerations and questions:

  1. An assessment of the effectiveness of the Eastern European Coalition for LGBT+ Equality program in contributing to change on local, national and regional levels, including recommendations for further maximizing results.
  2. An assessment of the structure of the Eastern European Coalition for LGBT+ Equality program, as it relates to the roles of RFSL, the Coalition, and the working groups in delivering results for regional advancement of LGBT+ rights.
  3. An assessment of effectiveness of the regional approach to organizing, employed in the program
  4. An assessment of the sustainability of the program, including the probability of continued long-term benefits from the program after its completion.
  5. An assessment of the program’s relevance, including to what extent the methodologies, structure and approaches are contextualized and relevant both 1) in relation to RFSLs international program; and 2) RFSL’s role and the needs of LGBTIQ groups in the Eastern Partnership region.
  6. An assessment of how the Coalition members and other actors in the program perceive and assess RFSL as a funder, a capacity-strengthening actor and an advocacy partner? 
  7. Are the grant levels feasible and reasonable given the contextual circumstances, and the capacity of the partners? 
  8. To what extent is RFSL working according to our core principles as set out in the international strategy, as well as in the Principles Program.
  9. What program components, methods and structures would be relevant to include in an upcoming program beyond 2020?
  10. Looking at the broader landscape of LGBTIQ organizing, other relevant actors, as well as contextual developments, what are the recommendations to RFSL in developing a new program? 

Approach and Method 

Stakeholder involvement is key to a successful implementation of this evaluation. The stakeholders consist of the program beneficiaries: partners and target groups of the program, but also other relevant actors in the region, if applicable. Appropriate methodology and methods for evaluation will be agreed in dialogue with RFSL. 

The following components should be part of the evaluation:

1. Data collection and analysis: Review of program documents, including agreements, project proposals and reports.

2. Interviews with stakeholders to get an informed opinion of achievements and challenges. The data collection will possibly include field visits, a partner survey or other measures to include beneficiaries and partners of the program, as well as other stakeholders.

Reporting and presentation: A draft report in English should be presented for comments by RFSL before being finalized. The consultant(s) should present the final draft report at a meeting with Sida and RFSL.
The final report should be written, proofread and presented in English.

Timeline, Reporting and Communication

The main evaluation process is expected to start in February and last no longer than May 15, 2020.  The final report should be presented no later than June 1, 2020.

The evaluator(s) will have one main focal point at RFSL, who will provide all necessary documentation as well as contacts for relevant stakeholders. RFSL will also inform the Coalition and partner organizations about the upcoming evaluation in advance. 

Required Skills and Competences

  • Academic degree in Development, Gender Studies, Social Science, Political Science, Democracy, Human Rights and/or other relevant areas.
  • Professional experience in the area of human rights/LGBTIQ rights. The evaluator(s) should have documented LGBTIQ competence.
  • Experience of evaluation of international development cooperation work, particularly related to civil society organizing, human rights and marginalized groups in civil society. 
  • Understanding of the impact that a continuously shrinking space – including increased security concerns – has on organizations, activists and their ability to act.  
  • Excellent command of English. Russian is highly desirable.
  • Sharing RFSL’s values; including feminism and anti-racism. Track record of applying norm-critical approach is desirable.

Tender evaluation process

The following criteria will be assessed in addition to the required skills and competencies during the procurement process:

  • Expertise on LGBTIQ-persons lived realities and organising.
  • Expertise in Eastern Partnership countries
  • Previous experience from conducting external evaluations.
  • Proposed methodology.
  • Cost efficiency.
  • Ability to perform the evaluation within the given timeframe.

Interested applicants should provide a proposal covering the following aspects:

  • Detailed response to this Terms of Reference
  • Proposed methodology
  • Proposed detailed timeline
  • Detailed budget, including daily fee rates, expenses, travels, taxes etc.
  • Consultant CV(s)
  • Examples of previous work, including references

Please send tenders to sati.sargsyan@rfsl.se and write ‘Evaluation Eastern European Coalition for LGBT+ Equality’ in the subject line, no later than January 20, 2020.

Footnotes: Please, note the ‘+’ in ‘LGBT+’ includes the understanding that some members of the community are not included, and the commitment to support those communities on a structural level in the future.  Note that some Coalition members support queer and intersex communities, however the Coalition’s work does not include those communities in a systematic way.