Bench Marks Foundation:Call for Proposals - Evaluation

Bench Marks Foundation
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Wednesday, 24 October, 2018
Opportunity type: 
Call for proposals

Call for Proposals: Evaluation 

The Bench Marks Foundation is a faith-based, non-profit organisation committed to social and economic justice. Its focus is on the corporation as entity. Is the corporation ethical, does it contribute to sustainable development of communities, the broader society, and respect the environment and integrity of creation?  It conducts research, advocacy and capacity building to support and empower poor and working class communities impacted by mining operations in their quest for justice and redress. It also holds companies accountable for their social, economic and environmental responsibility obligations.
It is now actively campaigning, through the promotion of impartial facilitated dialogue, for the immediate reparation and resolution of the immense damage mining companies have inflicted on communities. It is emphasizing that this dialogue must be conducted between communities, mining companies and government in a democratic space as equals that also addresses skewed power relations.
Most of BMF’s work is conducted in South Africa where work is conducted in 40 communities impacted by mining activity, and with a range of organisations and platforms. We also have a strong presence on Mozambique, the DRC Lubumbashi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. This is largely through the Bench Marks Community Monitoring School and evidence based research.
This evaluation takes place the first year of the new Presidency in South Africa after a 10 year period now being characterized as a period of ‘State Capture’. It is a time where the nation is starting to review and re-think the fundamental relationships and responsibilities between the citizenry, big business and the state. It is an important time to draw learning from the pursuit of BMF’s developmental goal: “To make large corporations more accountable to communities and countries where they operate and to ensure that communities have a stake and benefit and that externalized costs are not passed on to them”.


This evaluation will make recommendations for the future strategic orientation and next period of funding support. BMF’s internal organisational capacity and strategic management will be assessed to assist in building its future effectiveness and efficiency. The evaluation should help BMF, its Board and staff and – to a lesser extent – its cooperation partners to learn from and reconsider what they have been doing, how it has been done and what the impact has been.
This evaluation will cover the period from 2016 till 2018.

Evaluation / Review Questions
The review will include/cover the Policy Gap Research, its community monitoring programme, media and advocacy, its work with churches, its work in the SADC region, its work in alliances and in particular the recently developed work on a ratings agency and the development of a Problem Solving Service and a Capacity Building fund. Please refer to the Bench Marks websites for further information.
One of the key quality criteria for the evaluation is that the following questions set out in the OECD DAC standards and posed by BMF be answered in the final report. It is expected that the evaluation will surface other questions important to stakeholders.

  • Context – What are the changes in the Socio–political–economic context in South Africa that impact the work of BMF? What is the role of civil society human rights organisations in the present South African context?

  • Relevance - Are the objectives of the programme aligning with the needs of the beneficiaries and stakeholders?  Are the programmes and activities based on an adequate reading of the situation and the needs in the country? Are the objectives of the programme still relevant in the present context?

  • Effectiveness - Are the objectives of the programme being achieved? What progress has been made in the achievement of BMF’s goals as described in its founding purpose and in its cooperation agreements with its funding partners? What are the major factors contributing to the achievement of the particular goals? What has not been achieved and why? 

  • Efficiency - Will the objectives be achieved in an economically viable manner? Given the range of activities and the complex nature of some of them, are the management and financial management systems structured appropriately and effectively? Could some of the results have been delivered with fewer resources without reducing their quality?

  • Impact – How has the programme contributed to the attainment of overall development goals? What have the effects of the various programs been and what is the evidence of this? Sustainability – What indications are there that the intended positive changes will have a lasting effect? Are individual programs structured to be able to survive budget cuts?  Are there strategies in place or planned for to make individual programs sustainable? How strong are EFSA’s partnerships?

  • Learning – How effective has BMF been in drawing learning from its experience and using it to improve its practice? What are the key insights and lessons that have been learned and the implications for future practice. What learning can BMF draw from its stakeholders that will increase effectiveness in future?

  • Cross cutting: How have the programmes and activities impacted on women? Have they been successful in creating improved gender balance and in empowering women?

To achieve its purpose BMF works with and through a large number of stakeholders and partners. The primary stakeholders are: mining affected communities; corporations in the mining sector; related government departments and semi-parastatal monitoring and oversight bodies; and funding partners. The secondary stakeholders include: media outlets; other civil society organisations with particular focus on faith and faith-based organisations, human rights organisations, trade unions and institutions of research and learning.
The evaluation must take into account the learning and accountability interests of the primary stakeholders including the staff and Board of BMF. The design of the evaluation must engage them in all its aspects, from shaping the questions and focus, through sharing their perspectives and information, to receiving the conclusions of the evaluation in ways that are useful to informing and improving their future contribution.
There should be a combination of comprehensive desk reviews (including a small sample of BMF’s publications), primary data collection and analysis. The evaluation should also include field visits. Methods should vary according to the different programs using approaches such as observations, interviews, focus groups, discussion with stake-holders. Key persons in the management, partners and stakeholders should be interviewed in-depth.

Ethical considerations

The consultant will be expected to comply with basic ethical guidelines, particularly regarding ‘doing no harm’, and levels of confidentiality on the findings of the research will be agreed.

Expected Outputs

  • Inception report (in which the assignment is set out in detail, any limitations and difficulties are presented, the proposed methodology is described, and a detailed timetable is presented.)
  • Draft of final report.
  • Final report – ( the final report will be written in English, up to 40 pages plus appendices)


A six week period is envisaged, starting in October 2018 and including the following milestones and steps and proposals will be judged based on availability:

  • Proposal of methodology
  • Desk review
  • Qualitative methodology involving key informant interviews and other primary data collection (depending on agreed methodology)
  • Draft report and feedback opportunity
  • Final report


Approximately up to R150, 000 has been set aside for payment of consultancy fees and related expenses, excluding agreed travel to site. Payments will be made after each step of the process, and final payment will be made after the final report.

Management and Roles

The consultant will report directly to the Bench Marks Foundation, Deputy Director.

Interested parties are invited to submit quotations to undertake a review / evaluation of the Bench Marks Foundation in the months of October and November. In a brief document (no more than three pages), please present the following:
A comprehensive proposal including CV/s, a short explanation of and justification for the design and methodology proposed. A cost estimate should be included that gives the cost of consultancy fees based on a timeline with days to be spent on: interviews; data collection; analysis; and report writing. A description of the amount of travel, accommodation, and any other requirements of the evaluation design that will incur costs are required. Detailed amounts are not required for the travel, accommodation and additional costs, but sufficient detail should be provided to compare to the overall costs of other proposed evaluation designs.

Submit your quotation by email only to Busi Thabane General Manager – Bench Marks Foundation) at at 12h00 on Wednesday 24 October 2018. Include the word “evaluation” in subject line.

For more about Bench Marks Foundation, refer to and

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