Tshikululu Social Investments: Programme partner mid-term evaluation Terms of Reference (TOR)

Tshikululu Social Investments
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Monday, 6 July, 2020
Opportunity type: 
Call for proposals

A programme partner that they have been working for four years was established in May 2015 to create universal access to quality, affordable early learning opportunities for three- and four-year-olds. By 2030, it hopes to reach 1 000 000 children. Over the past four years, the partner has developed its model and brand, tested its programme on the ground, built strong partnerships, refined systems that support delivery and put in place a skilled and dedicated team, and now it is in the transition to scale phase.
The programme partner has a unique and important contribution to make to early childhood development (ECD) in South Africa. The social franchise model is enabling a new generation of independent early learning facilitators, bringing early learning opportunities to communities that previously had none, while upskilling unemployed women and creating thousands of new jobs. The programme partner currently has 3 811 franchisees, reaching 33 172 children. One of our clients has been funding the programme partner since 2017.

To assist the programme partner to enhance its efficiency and effectiveness, the client would like to appoint a service provider to undertake a mid-term evaluation report. The purpose of the mid-term evaluation is to review progress over the past several years, identify lessons learnt of what has worked and what has not worked, and put forward recommendations for continuous improvement of the model.

The funder has particular interest in four key areas of the programme partner’s operations:

  • the sustainability strategy, especially in relation to securing ongoing government support for franchisees through subsidies and other means;
  • monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems and processes, especially in relation to the use of data to improve efficiency and effectiveness of programmes;
  • ensuring ongoing programme delivery as programme partner scales substantially, especially in terms of maintaining education outcomes; and
  • training in the philosophy and principle of inclusion and providing an opportunity for early identification of children with disabilities.

Aim of the evaluation


The overall purpose of the evaluation is to determine progress made thus far of the programme partner social franchise model in terms of fulfilment of objectives, efficiency, effectiveness, sustainability and impact. The evaluation will also offer a learning aspect for all stakeholders through capturing programme achievements, challenges and best practises to inform future programming.


The evaluation is expected to return insights to:

  • Provide an assessment of the overall impact and sustainability of the programme partner’s social franchise model against its specific and overall objectives, as well as results as defined in the programmes logical framework;
  • Deepen insight into assumptions and approaches underpinning the programme’s model, and how these compare to the priorities and concerns of beneficiaries and national education frameworks in South Africa; and;
  • Provide guidance for the implementation and revision of the intention to scale the programme partner programme.

  Scope of work

The following highlights in detail the objectives of the evaluation, key questions to answer and procedures to follow to achieve those objectives. It also serves as a guideline for the service provider to follow to successfully conduct the mid-term evaluation review. It is important to note that the objectives mentioned herein are designed as umbrella questions. It is expected that a number of supplementary questions to the core evaluation questions could be raised.

Assess the relevance and appropriateness of the model 

  • How relevant is the programme partners’ ‘theory of change’ that was articulated at the outset of the programme - has it proven effective, are there gaps and how should it be adapted and improved for the future?
  • Were contextual factors (political, social, economic, cultural) taken into account in the design and implementation of the programme partner micro-enterprise model?
  • Is the evidence of a sound value chain to support and develop a micro-enterprise - what key inputs are needed from both programme partner and other stakeholders in the ecosystem to enable success of franchisors?
  • How relevant and appropriate is the current programme design and implementation to the educational, life skills and social needs of programme partner franchisees - are there any concrete examples that skills gained from participation in the programme have improved the economic status of programme partner franchisees?
  • What are programme partner ’s obligations to its franchisees and have they been fulfilled as intended? i.e. adequate subsidies and operating conditions, training and development needs etc. 
  • What is the attrition rate of programme partner’s franchisees and how has the programme encouraged high morale and a low turnover
  • Identify the opportunities and constraints the programme has faced and draw lessons and good practices that could be adopted widely within the local ECD sphere for successful franchise/micro-enterprise model adoption

Assess the effectiveness of the programme 

  • To what extent has programme progressed towards achieving its objectives as defined in the logical theory of change framework
  • Have programme partner activities led to improved, intended or unintended outcomes for the most marginalised and disadvantaged children
  • How effective is programme partner at measuring impact - does it have the right tools and systems in place to provide evidence of both intentional and unintentional outcomes?
  • To what extent are the different needs of various sub-groups (children with disabilities and special learning needs) taken into account? How can the programme better target sub-groups to become more inclusive?

Determine readiness of the programme’s ability to scale

  • Ascertain the requirements and implications (institutional capacity, financial implications etc.) of scaling up and implementing the partners’ programme on a national scale
  • Evaluate the operational effectiveness of the programme and to cost its scale up in the current and projected national fiscal situation
  • Determine if the theory of change principals still hold as the programme scales i.e. Do the programme outcomes vary for children of different ages and backgrounds, as relevant to the country context?

Assess the sustainability of the programme

  • What mechanisms has programme partner put in place to sustain the key programme outputs and outcomes?
  • What are the major factors influencing the achievement or non-achievement of sustainability?
  • Are programme outcomes likely to increase, remain stable, or decrease when the Funder’s support is withdrawn?
  • To what extent is there evidence of community level commitment and ownership to the programme’s goals?

Stakeholder management and engagement 

  • How has programme partner worked with other relevant stakeholders (funders, government and other entities) to drive efficiencies and scale reach and impact of the programme?
  • What has been the role of programme partner in the advocacy and coordination of quality certified early education?
  • What opportunities for collaboration have been, utilised and how have these contributed to increased effectiveness of the programme?
  • Are there any concrete examples of successful collaboration of programme partner with other partners to increase the reach of and impact on beneficiaries?

Risk management strategy

  • Have proper accountability and risk management framework(s) been in place to minimise risks on programme implementation?
  • What is Programme partner ’s risk response process, capability and adequacy all round?
  • What, if any, contextual challenges did the programme face, and how did programme partner respond to them?


The funder expects the evaluator to carry out field research based on a mix of a qualitative and quantitative methodology that allows for an in-depth description of the programme, as per the questions outlined above. To do so, we foresee a limited number of in-depth case studies that elicit changes provoked by programme partner in the lives of families and communities.

We expect an evaluation report that sheds light on the complexity and interconnectedness of opportunities and constraints presented by the franchise model in the ECD context, and how the programme model and quality is holding in programme partner ’s attempts to scale nationally.
The evaluator must be sensitive to the age of beneficiaries (including children aged three to five years) and gender disparities, seek to include persons with disabilities, and be prepared to probe into unintended outcomes of the programme partner  programme. Ethical approval and parental consent should be sought where necessary.  

The following activities are foreseen:

  • desktop review of relevant documentation including strategic frameworks, research work and prior evaluation reports, narrative reports, landscape analysis, M&E data, and other programme-related documentation; and
  • interviews, surveys and/or focus group discussions with programme partner staff and implementing partners, as well as with other stakeholders as deemed necessary.


Tshikululu will be responsible for the necessary introductions to stakeholders that the service provider may need to engage during this assessment. Tshikululu will also be responsible for facilitating the provision of all necessary information/documentation to engender effective implementation of the assessment

Required expertise

The service provider will:

  • demonstrate commitment to transformation via provision of a broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) certificate and, where applicable, transformation policies and plans;
  • have experience in conducting similar evaluations;
  • have adequate knowledge of franchise models and best practice;
  • demonstrate the required skills and ability to conduct sensitive evaluations;
  • have an appropriately capacitated team to complete the work;
  • have a thorough understanding of the ECD landscape in South Africa;
  • conduct this assignment in a professional manner;
  • follow all steps necessary for this assignment as articulated; and store and hand over all information generated through this assignment to Tshikululu

Application process

In addition, the service provider will provide the following documents as part of its proposal:

  • overview of the company, including its directors and management’s credentials;
  • tax compliance/exemption certificate/company registration;
  • proof of legal registration of the company;
  • B-BBEE certificate/ affidavit;
  • business resumé;
  • organisational transformation plan;
  • team member CVs; and
  • project proposal, including the budget, methodology and workplan.

Timeline of activities

Release of RfP - 24 June 2020
Proposal submission date - 6 July 2020
Appointment of service provider and contracting - 17 July 2020
Beginning of review - 22 July 2020
Submission of draft report to the funder - 19 October 2020
Presentation of findings to the client - 4 November 2020
Submission of final report to funder - 13 November 2020


The estimated cost for this assignment is between R300 000 and R 450 000.
For any queries and submissions, please contact Nyaradzo Mutanha: nmutanha@tshikululu.org.za

For more about Tshikululu Social Investments, refer to http://tshikululu.org.za/

For other vacancies in the NGO sector, refer to http://www.ngopulse.org/opportunities/other

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