Evaluation Consultant: Independent evaluation of the project “Digital Rights in Sub-saharan Africa”

Media Legal Defence Initiative (MLDI)
January 29, 2018
London, United States
Job Type


Independent evaluation of ‘Sub-Saharan Africa Digital Rights Advocates Project’ – Terms of Reference

About MLDI

MLDI’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.

MLDI’s Mission

To help journalists who are under threat for their work by making sure they have access to good lawyers and by working alongside these lawyers to make sure the best possible legal defence is provided.


MLDI is looking to engage an experienced evaluation consultant to carry out an interim and final evaluation (as well as set up and baseline research) of its digital rights project.

The project

MLDI has started to implement a two year project titled ‘Sub-Saharan Africa Digital Rights Advocates Project’.

The project’s overall goal is to foster a legal and regulatory environment with reduced restrictions capable of violating the right to freedom of expression online. Specific objectives include:

  •   72 lawyers in Sub-Saharan Africa have the specialist legal expertise to litigate freedom of expression online cases at the national, regional and international level;
  •   Those lawyers are connected to each other and with broader Internet freedom advocacy efforts at the global level;
  •   Four national media defence centres in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda and a regional Southern Africa Freedom of Expression Programme better able to provide local-level access to legal assistance for freedom of expression online to independent media;
  •   Recognition and protection of digital rights in the case law of Africa’s regional human rights mechanisms (The African Commission of Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the East African Court of Justice).

These objectives will be achieved through the following activities

  •   Research to identify groups, projects and cases that are relevant to digital rights and impact litigation;
  •   Litigation surgeries: intensive workshops with individual lawyers in target regions to develop litigation and advocacy skills;
  •   Training on regional human rights mechanisms and side event at the African Commission;
  •   Sub-awarding to four organisations to support freedom of expression online advocacy and 
  •   Support to networking of project participants to ensure their connection to connection to global 
digital rights networks, through attendance of global meetings and workshops;
  •   Development and publication of four training manuals.


It should be noted MLDI is also developing a strategic litigation impact evaluation instrument. The development of this tool is outside of the scope of this evaluation, however the data from this tool should be included in the project evaluation where relevant.

Evaluation RequirementsPhase 1: Evaluation planning and set up

  •   Develop a capacity building measurement framework to measure organisational growth in grantees (media defence centres)
  •   Using the existing project log frame, evaluation narrative and other relevant documents provide detailed evaluation plan and protocol for the project
  •   Input into and review data collection resources and finalise resources e.g. baseline and follow up surveys, topic guides – these will be developed by MLDI’s Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Officer
  •   Ensure specific government donor indicators are incorporated into evaluation methodologies
  •   Carrying out baseline research where relevant/identifying baseline metrics or standards (research 
into the current state of digital rights is being commissioned separately, however the evaluation consultant should identify baselines metrics or standards using this research and third party data which can then be measured again at project end).

Phase 2: Interim Evaluation (Autumn 2018)

  •   Independent analysis of evaluation data/year one project data (collected by MLDI)
  •   Review with project staff 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
  •   Interim evaluation report (including recommendations and changes for year two)

Phase 3: Final Evaluation (Summer 2019)

  •   Independent analysis of all evaluation data/project data (collected by MLDI)
  •   Some independent data collection where bias would be introduced if MLDI was to carry them out e.g. key informant interviews, focus groups etc. (some travel may be required, to be agreed 
with MLDI, any travel and associated costs will be covered by MLDI).

Governance and accountability

MLDI’s Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Officer, Patrick Regan, 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:

  •   Project Coordinator
  •   Donor representatives

Qualifications and experience

The consultant should:

  •   have demonstrable experience in the monitoring and evaluation sector (at least 3 years’ experience)
  •   have demonstrable experience of carrying out evaluations for NGO’s and charities, preferably involving projects in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  •   have demonstrable experience of developing tools, instruments and evaluation frameworks

Experience of carrying out evaluations with human rights organisations, would also be beneficial.


  •   Finalised data collection tools
  •   Interim Evaluation Report
  •   Final Evaluation Report

Useful resources

  •   Project log frame
  •   Evaluation narrative
  •   MLDI’s 2015-2020 strategy
  •   DRL Project proposal

Documents available upon 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

To regan@mediadefence.org no later than 20 February 2018. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to interview in late February 2018.

When selecting the consultant, MLDI will consider:

  •   Past experience of the consultant
  •   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 MLDI’s work and objectives 
Key Dates

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

Deadline for proposals 20 February 2018 Interviews Late December 2017/Early January 2018 Appointment of Consultant No later March 5 2018 Set up (phase 1) complete 15 April 2018 * Interim Report due 30 October 2018* Project End 31 July 2019 Final Report due 31 September 2019*


Contact information

For questions, further information or a discussion about the evaluation, please contact Patrick Regan on Patrick.regan@mediadefence.org or 0203 752 5545.



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