Evaluation Consultancy on Factors Influencing – Equity Group Foundation

Background
Kenya envisages being a developed nation by 2030. This calls for increased transition rates from primary to secondary school in all districts to meet its anticipated middle and high level manpower requirements. However, transition rates from primary to secondary school in some districts remain low despite the government effort to offer tuition free secondary education and this situation affects adversely the poor and the vulnerable in the society by limiting their access to secondary education. It is against this backdrop that the Equity Group Foundation was established.

Equity Group Foundation [EGF] was established in 2008 in recognition of the need to scale up the existing corporate social responsibility [CSR] initiatives by Equity Bank Group. The Foundation acts as the institutional home for the Group’s social initiatives and interventions. Since its inception, the Foundation has significantly enhanced the coordination of social development interventions for the Group. The Foundation’s aim is to catalyze the socio-economic prosperity of the people of Africa by giving opportunity to the millions at the bottom of the pyramid to be incorporated into the modern economy.
Promotion of improved transition rate from primary to secondary education is at the core of the foundation objectives and academic performance in school is of major concern for the foundation and other stakeholders including; partners, teachers, parents, and the government since it influences the transition rate to higher education opportunities and charting of career pathways.

The Wings to Fly [WtF] Program
The Equity Group Foundation [EGF], is a not-for-profit implementing foundation arm of the Equity Group Holdings Limited that champions the social and economic transformation of the people of Africa. To achieve its mission of championing the transformation of lives and livelihoods through the development and implementation of innovative programmes that leverage existing infrastructure and link partners to the bottom of the pyramid, EGF designs and delivers high-impact social development programmes across seven strategic pillars. Of one of these pillars is the education & leadership development pillar, which primarily aims to increase access to and transition through secondary and tertiary education as well as provide leadership and career development for the next generation of leaders. It is under this program that the Wings to Fly [WtF] program resides. The WtF program has thus far provided scholarship support to 12,488 individuals, of which 3,578 have successfully completed the four years of Kenya secondary school since 2010.
Annually, students qualify to apply to WtF based on both academic performance and level of need. Applicants must be in the top fifth percentile on the nationally-administered Kenya Certificate of Primary Education [KCPE] examination in their home district to be considered. Meanwhile, level need is determined based on economic status and vulnerability, including as affected by the loss of one or both parents; parental illness or disability; and/ or displacement due to disaster or civil conflict. Equity Bank branch staff and local community leadership play a central role in vetting and ultimately selecting candidates by leading a transparent, community-owned process to interview and visit each prospective scholar and their families. This ensures that scholarships are actually benefiting those in need.
EGF and its partners stay involved to support students’ academic success once they are selected and enrolled in school. Each scholar receives mentoring throughout the year to provide emotional support and encouragement. In addition, EGF holds an annual Education and Leadership Congress, where scholars spend time learning from successful professionals from the public and private sectors. To date, the program has supported 12,488 scholarship beneficiaries in over 600 secondary schools nationwide courtesy of the generous support of the partners and Equity Bank.

Purpose and Scope of the Consultancy
Equity Group Foundation places great importance on the role of evaluations in providing basis for decision making, learning and implementing quality programs for evidence-based results. It is against this background that the foundation is interested in establishing the factors influencing academic performance of WtF Scholars primarily the socio-economic and environmental factors, among others that are likely to adversely affect the scholar academic performance. It is anticipated that the findings of the evaluation report and its recommendations will be instrumental in the implementation of an informed and effective mitigation measures in promoting excellence in academic performance.
The scope of the evaluation shall be limited to the current WtF scholars in various secondary schools in Kenya, scholars in all classes [form 1 to form 4], stakeholders in the program including the relevant Government institutions, Equity Bank, Parents/guardians and partners. The evaluation will use mix methods including primary research and secondary research approaches. Academic performance in this context will be regarded as the scholar performance during the internal exams while attending the four year secondary school course and also the performance at the National examinations [KCSE].
Objectives
1. Determine the actual causes of scholars’ low academic performance
2. To establish how school learning environment influences academic performance for the WtF scholars i.e. Level of school, physical facilities, teaching and learning materials, assessment of achievement, completion of the syllabus and teacher- student ratio.
3. Establish strategies that can be adopted to improve performance
Evaluation Questions
1. Does demographic factors, such as age, sex and family socioeconomic status influence his/her academic performance? Is there a difference in academic achievements of boys and girls?
2. To what factors do students attribute low academic performance?
3. How often does each of these causes of low performance occur among students?
4. What are the attitudes of students towards the low academic performance?
5. Does the provision of supplementary learning materials influence academic performance in way and to what extent?
6. Does the scholarship package [tuition and wrap around services] provided by the program influence the academic performance of the scholars?
7. Does the KCPE grade of the scholar influence future academic performance in internal exams and National Examinations?
8. How does the students’ characteristics influence their academic performance i.e. student attitude towards learning and students discipline?
Methodology
The technical proposal presented by the potential consultancy firms is expected to provide a brief presentation of the methodology to be used in the evaluation including design and justification on the use of the design. It is expected also under the methodology section that a description of the proposed sampling methods and procedures applicable to the evaluation is made. The detailed methodology and evaluation plan shall be presented at the inception report by the successful consultancy firm is contracted and this shall be discussed with the relevant EGF staff before the actual evaluation kicks off.
Expected Deliverables
• Inception report after contracting and before the actual evaluation.
• Draft evaluation report.
• Copy of the raw data used in the analysis.
• 1 day presentation of the draft report to EGF for feedback
• Final evaluation report[3 printed copies and a soft copy]

Evaluator Responsibilities
The evaluator will work with the EGF General Manager- monitoring and evaluation and other M&E staff to agree on a final methodology at inception stage and finalise on the budget if need be. The evaluator shall liaise with the EGF staff to identify and mobilise the relevant stakeholders, develop data collection instruments as appropriate, and to ensure the evaluation team has adequate access to relevant documentation. Periodic project management meetings with the M&E unit staff will be held as appropriate and provide guidance and feedback on the preliminary results and the draft report to ensure accuracy, relevancy and utilization of the findings.
The evaluator will provide his/her own working space and associated resources. It also expected that the budget is inclusive of all the costs when submitting their financial proposal to including; accommodation, communication, daily living allowances, transport and professional fees.

Proposed outline of the Evaluation Report
• Title page and cover photo
• Acknowledgment
• Executive Summary
• Introduction
• Program Description
• Objectives of the evaluation
• Methodology
• Findings
• Conclusion
• Recommendations
• Use, dissemination, and sharing plan
• Annexes

Desired Qualifications
• The consultancy firm must be a legal entity.
• The firm must provide demonstrable experience in similar assignments carried in the recent past 5 years.
• The lead consultant/investigator must be a PhD holder in either Education, research methods, development studies or a relevant discipline.
• Proficiency in quantitative and qualitative research methods is a key requirement
• Relevant geographical experience ideally in Eastern Africa and especially in the education sector.
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English and proficient in Kiswahili will be added advantage.
Application Requirements and Selection process
The Equity Group Foundation invites bids from a number of possible evaluators [individuals and firms]. Bids should include the following:
• A cover letter introducing the evaluator/ firm and highlighting the capabilities, skills and competences relevant to the evaluation.
• A detailed outline of the proposed evaluation process including the conceptual framework, proposed methodology and evaluation plan.
• Proposed budget for the evaluation[all costs inclusive of applicable taxes]
• A sample evaluation report relevant to the thematic area.
• A CV detailing relevant skills and experience of no more than 5 pages, including contactable referees [if a group, a CV should be submitted for each member of the evaluation team].
Criteria for selection will be:
• Quality of the methodological proposal: aspects that will help us to assess their suitability for that which is proposed in the RFP, quality of the proposal, feasibility, etc.
• Profile and competencies of the evaluation team: knowledge, experience, composition and other necessary competencies.
• Good understanding of thematic area of evaluation
• Time availability during the critical periods.
• Value for money.

HOW TO APPLY:
Vendors should make electronic bid submission to the following Contact:
Jamlick Wanyoike,
Procurement Manager, Equity Bank Ltd
Equity Center, 3rd Floor, Hospital Hill Road, Upper Hill
P.O. Box 75104, 00200, Nairobi.
Phone: +254 20 226 292 1, Fax: +254 20 271 143 9
Email: jamlick.wanyoike@equitybank.co.ke
cc mathew.ngunga@equitygroupfoundation.com
Key Timelines
Issuance Date:Sept 28 2017
Vendor Formal Proposals Submission Deadline:Oct 19, 2017 [16:00 hrs Kenyan Time]

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