Overview

The American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) is looking for an evaluator based in Malaysia to conduct an outcome evaluation on its Program to “Strengthen Litigation and Advocacy to Promote Religious Freedom in Malaysia (S-LMAQM-17-GR-1118)” (from here on forward referred to as “the Program”) funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL). The local evaluator will work extensively with a co-evaluator from ABA ROLI’s independent Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Division to undertake an evaluation of Program outcomes. The evaluation team will use outcome harvesting as primary evaluation approach. The local evaluator will be commissioned from between November to December 2021.

The Program is a $917,426 that started on July 19, 2017 and ends on December 31. 2021, with a possible extension of the term to finalize the evaluation. The Program aims to (1) increase the capacity of Malaysian lawyers to protect freedom of religion, (2) increase the awareness of religious freedom in Malaysia and internationally; (3) enhance the capacity of Malaysian justice sector actors to protect freedom of religion; and (4) strengthen networking amongst freedom of religion stakeholders.

I.                Evaluation Objectives and Use

The evaluation is commissioned by the Asia Division to comply with the commitment set under the Program’s M&E Plan. The evaluation will respond to the following questions:

1.     How have trainings and resources affected how human rights defenders and lawyers provide legal counsel, advice or support for cases related to Freedom of Religion and Belief (FORB) in Malaysia?

2.     How have trainings for law students affected their willingness and ability to address FOR protection and promotion in Malaysia?

3.     To what extent have advocacy efforts affected changes in FORB policy and practices initiated or participated into by:

3.1 Religious leaders;

3.2 Legislators; and

3.3 Advocates?

4.       What changes in attitudes and behavior have been observed among end beneficiaries throughout the Program?

5.     To what extent has the Program contributed to observed changes in attitude and behavior of end beneficiaries?

6.     What areas of policy, regulatory practice, or professional practice related to FORB are most “ripe” for future engagement?

The evaluation will be conducted through interviews, surveys, and focus group discussions, were needed. Should Covid-19 related restrictions continue during the period of performance for this evaluation, data collection is expected to continue using phone, SMS, or online tools.

The evaluation shall be guided by the American Evaluation Association’s principles for evaluators [1].

[1] American Evaluation Association Guiding Principles for Evaluators July 2004 http://www.eval.org/p/cm/ld/fid=51

II.                 Uses and Users of this Evaluation:

This evaluation will serve as inputs to future assistance in Malaysia, and for freedom of religion, and may be utilized by both local partners, ABA ROLI, and donors.

III.          Scope

The evaluation will document observable outcomes from activities between July 19, 2017, to October 31, 2021, duly considering activities that may or may not have observable outcomes during the period of the evaluation. An evaluability assessment may be conducted should there be substantial considerations required in identifying the final scope.

IV.          Deliverables

·       An evaluation report in English of not more than 40 pages, including an executive summary, to be delivered in draft by December 15, 2021, and in final by December 31, 2021.

·       A report/addendum or notes for internal ABA ROLI review.

V.             Qualifications and Experience of Candidate

ABA ROLI is seeking an evaluator with:

·       At least 7 years of experience undertaking outcome evaluations using mixed research methods;

·       Experience researching and evaluating programs or projects that focus on fundamental freedoms and human rights, democracy, and/or governance;

·       Experience evaluating advocacy efforts that aim at improving legislation and participation of marginalized or minority groups is preferred;

·       Proven ability to undertake interviews or surveys, and facilitate focus group discussion with government officials, local leaders and civil society is a must;

·       Understanding of local culture and conditions, as well as religious and cultural sensitivities is a must;

·       Understanding of do no harm principles and data responsibility is a must;

·       Familiarity with tools and protocols for online, SMS and/or phone surveys and interviews;

·       Functional proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing in English; and

·       Proficiency in speaking and reading in other languages or dialects in Malaysia is preferred.

The candidate must be based in Malaysia and must be able to coordinate with various stakeholders of the Program in Malaysia throughout the period of the evaluation, including by phone, email, in-person, and online means where needed. Local travels may be expected on as needed basis for up to 10% of the evaluator’s time.

VI.          Rate and Payment Structure

ABA ROLI will administer a short-term consultancy contract at a lump sum amount of $20,000. An initial tranche will be issued upon completion of inception report, and second tranche upon completion of data collection, and a final tranche upon completion of final evaluation outputs by the team.

About American Bar Association, Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI)

The Rule of Law Initiative is a public service project of the American Bar Association dedicated to promoting legal reform efforts in over 40 countries around the world. The Rule of Law Initiative believes that rule of law promotion is the most effective long-term antidote to the most pressing problems facing the world community today, including poverty, economic stagnation, and crippling levels of corruption. The Rule of Law Initiative concentrates its technical legal assistance efforts in the following substantive areas: 1) Anti-corruption & public integrity; 2) Criminal law & combating trafficking in persons; 3) Gender issues; 4) Human rights & conflict mitigation; 5) Judicial reform; 6) Legal education reform; and 7) Legal profession reform. The Rule of Law Initiative enlists talented individuals who possess the skills and commitment necessary to effectively promote the rule of law in our host countries. We regularly seek experienced attorneys, judges, and law professors interested in lending their expertise to our programs for both long- and short-term pro bono assignments overseas. For more information please visit our website at www.abarol.org.