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Call for Consultants: Independent evaluation of ‘International Network of Internet Freedom Lawyers (INIFL)’ multi-regional project

Call for Consultants: Independent evaluation of ‘International Network of Internet Freedom Lawyers (INIFL)’ multi-regional project

1. About Media Defence

Media Defence’s Vision

A world where journalists no longer face legal challenges that threaten their ability to report freely and independently on issues of public interest, allowing citizens to be better informed, able to hold those in power to account.

Media Defence’s Mission 

To ensure legal protection of journalists and media workers under threat for reporting on issues of public interest, in the belief that freedom of expression is essential to hold those with power to account.

2. Purpose of the consultancy contract

Media Defence is looking to engage an experienced evaluation consultant to carry out an interim and final evaluation of International Network of Internet Freedom Lawyers Project (INIFL). The project is global with specific activities which taking place in Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America and sub-Saharan Africa and aims to build a global network of legal communities defending freedom of expression online to strengthen local legal capacity and foster cross-border collaboration.

3. Background

Media Defence’s International Network of Internet Freedom Lawyers Project (INIFL) builds on our global freedom of expression work.

The Project

INIFL is a 24-month project which started in September 2023 and is expected to end in September 2025. It builds on the strengths of previous projects but also seeks to expand our geographic reach. Specific objectives include:

1. Lawyers globally have increased knowledge and confidence in litigating freedom of expression online and have increased capacity to defend journalists facing digital rights issues;

2. Provide resources to ensure that journalists facing threats are able to pay for their defence;

3. Build and support cross-border collaboration by trained lawyers who are able to learn from each other and strengthen their capacity to challenge freedom of expression violations online to journalists

These objectives will be achieved through the following activities:

Litigation surgeries on freedom of expression and digital rights:

•   Portuguese-language for lawyers in sub-Saharan Africa

•   For women lawyers in Asia-Pacific

•   For lawyers in Europe

•   Advanced litigation surgery for lawyers in Asia-Pacific

•   Condensed session attached to a conference in sub-Saharan Africa

Grant-making

•   30 individual grants

•   3 project-based grants for organisations providing legal support

•   A training of trainers and five corresponding project grants for lawyers to organise litigation surgeries

Improvements and expansion of the Resource Hub

Additional networking activities, including a mentorship programme and know-how events

NB this project does not include any strategic litigation.

Evaluation Requirements

Phase 1: Evaluation planning and set up

•   Using the existing project log frame, evaluation narrative and other relevant documents provide detailed evaluation plan and protocol for the project;

•   Media Defence’s Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Officer will prepare and organise resources for evaluators including survey results from surgeries, key indicators and data on grantees; and

Phase 2: Interim Evaluation (31 October 2024 completion)

•   Independent analysis of evaluation data/month 15 project data (collected by Media Defence)

•   Review with project staff and other key stakeholders on project to date focusing on internal processes and observations of the project – this could be via a project workshop, staff interviews or other appropriate methodology; and

•   Interim evaluation report produced (including recommendations and changes for year two).

Phase 3: Final Evaluation (Tentative, September 2025)

Independent analysis of all evaluation data/project data at the end of the project (collected by Media Defence)

•   Final evaluation plan and methodology to be decided on, but should include independent data collection activities such as focus groups and interviews with key stakeholders (where bias might be introduced if Media Defence were to carry out the data collection);

•   Some independent data collection where bias might be introduced if Media Defence was to carry them out e.g. key informant interviews, focus groups etc. Some travel may be required. Any travel and associated costs will be covered by Media Defence for travel with prior agreement of Media Defence).

•   Final report produced will highlight the project’s key successes, assess how objectives have or have not been met, and provide recommendations for future iterations of project and analysis on replicability and scalability of the project.

Governance and accountability

Media Defence’s Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Officer, Chloe Pethick, will be the key contact for this consultancy and will be responsible for day-to-day communications and support with the evaluation consultant. Other key stakeholders will include:

•   Media Defence staff, specifically the Capacity Building Team

•   Lawyers who have participated in these or previous activities

•   Grantees

Qualifications and experience

The consultant should have:

•   at least three years’ experience in the monitoring and evaluation sector;

•   demonstrable experience of carrying out similar evaluations for NGOs and charities,

•   demonstrable experience of developing tools, instruments and evaluation frameworks;

•   have demonstrable experience with conducting interviews and focus groups for evaluations remotely;

•   experience of carrying out evaluations with demonstrated intersectional lens and gender mainstreaming approach

•   preference for consultants with experience in participatory, developmental evaluation approaches.

•   consultants from/ or based in the Global South are strongly encouraged.

•   English, Spanish and Portuguese language skills would be beneficial.

•   experience of carrying out evaluations with human rights organisations would be beneficial.

Deliverables

•   Finalised data collection tools

•   Interim Evaluation Report

•   Final Evaluation Report

Project Documentation

•   INIFL Project proposal

•   Project Evaluation narrative

•   Project logic model (log frame)

•   Project Indicator Table

Further documents available on request.

Application and selection

Please send your proposal, including:

•   Methodology and approach

•   Timeline

•   A summary of relevant experience of the agency and/or individuals involved

•   Examples of previous relevant evaluations carried out and tools developed

•   Consideration of ethics and risks

•   Detailed cost breakdown – the contract award is £26,000 in total, including the interim and final evaluation. Proposals which exceed the contract award amount will not be considered.

To Chloe Pethick, chloe.pethick@mediadefence.org no later than 28 July 2024. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to interview in August 2024.

When selecting the consultant, Media Defence will consider:

•   Past experience of the consultant, including use of intersectionality and gender mainstreaming evaluation approaches and experience across different regions

•   Value for money

•   Suitability of the approach and proposed methods

•   Innovativeness of the approach

•   Communication and presentation skills

•   Consideration of risks and mitigation

•   Understanding of Media Defence’s work and objectives

Key Dates

key dates

*dates are approximate only and will be agreed with the selected consultant.

Contact information

For questions, further information or a discussion about the evaluation, please contact Chloe Pethick, chloe.pethick@mediadefence.org

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