Call for Tenders | Project's Final Evaluation | EU4Accountability

Call for Tenders | Project's Final Evaluation | EU4Accountability




Terms of Reference

Subject: Project’s Final Evaluation

Project: EU4Accountability – Empowered Civil Society for Increased Social Accountability in Moldova


You can find the full TOR in EPD's website here.


1. Purpose

The European Partnership for Democracy (EPD) is recruiting a consultant, a team of consultants, or a legal  entity (hereafter: the “Evaluator”) to conduct the final evaluation of the ‘EU4Accountability’ project (hereafter: the ‘Project’), funded by the European Union (EU). The evaluation is set to take place between March-May 2024. Under this contract, the evaluator or team of evaluators is expected to conduct an evaluation of the project EU4 accountability following the DAC criteria, as well as including specific considerations regarding the impact of the project on democratic practices and institutions in Moldova. To this end, the evaluation will have two main purposes: 

  • Accountability. The evaluation must ascertain the degree to which the project has attained the overall and specific objectives established in the Description of the Action and Logical Framework Matrix annexed to the contract with the European Union. 
  • Learning. The evaluation must also provide relevant insights on the ways in which the project has contributed to the improvement (or deterioration) of democratic practices in Moldova, as well as its role in strengthening the links between civil society and democratic institutions.

2. Background information about the project

The Project aims to improve social accountability of the local and central government of Moldova by strengthening the capacity of local, grassroot Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to participate in, monitor, and advocate for greater public accountability and to participate in the policy dialogue with the Local Public Authorities (LPAs) and the central government. It follows three parallel pathways towards achieving this goal:  

  • Strengthening local CSOs’ competencies to participate, monitor and advocate for greater public accountability with a focus on budget related social accountability mechanisms.
  • Supporting budget related social accountability mechanisms in 10 districts of the Republic of Moldova.
  • Local CSOs are engaged in policy dialogue at local and national levels to improve social accountability.

The Action’s rationale states that if 1) local CSOs’ competency to participate in, monitor and advocate for greater public accountability, with a focus on budget related social accountability mechanisms, is strengthened (Output 1); if 2) LPAs’ know-how on participatory budgeting process, citizen engagement, social accountability is increased and the budgeting process is supported by local CSOs (Output 2); and if 3) CSOs are engaged in policy dialogue at local and national level to improve social accountability with LPA and relevant government counterparts (Output 3); then local Moldovan CSOs are empowered to perform their roles as actors of governance at the local and national level, by enhancing inclusive and effective budgetary processes (Outcome 1); and thereby lead to an increased social accountability of local and central governments in Moldova (Impact). CSOs, LPAs and key public officials at central level have been identified as the main target groups due to the crucial role they can play in enhancing transparency and accountability of local governance, and in strengthening the effectiveness of social accountability mechanisms for meaningful public participation. 

The intervention logic relies on 8 Financial Support to Third Parties (FSTP)schemes to advance the objectives of the Action, as outlined below: 

  1. CSOs capacity needs assessment - 1 FSTP recipient.
  2. Capacity-building for CSOs on organisational development and social accountability mechanisms - 2 FSTP recipients.
  3. CSOs initiatives  to pursue their own development strategies and monitor public policy making - 24 recipients.
  4. Best practices, peer-learning, experience-sharing and networking between local CSO - 2 FSTP recipients.
  5. Workshops for mayors, councillors and other LPA staff - 2 FSTP recipients
  6. CSOs initiatives to strengthen social accountability mechanisms - 24 FSTP recipients.
  7. Facilitation of PPA, multi-stakeholders policy dialogue and policy network - 1 FSTP recipient
  8. CSOs joint advocacy initiatives on dialogue Roadmap for Reform - 3 FSTP recipients.


3. Evaluation modalities

The evaluation shall consist first in an outcomes harvesting of the results of FSTP Schemes 1 to 6, which contribute to the delivery of outputs 1 and 2 (activities conducted at local level), and as well as an analysis of the the results of FSTP schemes 7 and 8 on policy dialogue (activities conducted at national level). 

The evaluation will result in a Final Evaluation Report aimed at providing consortium members and the donor with a clear understanding of both the expected and unexpected results of their work in all its dimensions (political, social, economic, etc.). Secondly, it shall gather lessons learnt, challenges faced, and best practices and use such insight to generate recommendations that can help the consortium members as well as the EU to design and undertake similar initiatives in the future. Last but not least, the Final Evaluation Report must identify contributions of the project to democratic practices and democratic institutions in Moldova (positive and/or negative). 

All the conclusions and recommendations of the Final Evaluation Report should be formulated against the backdrop of the ongoing accession process, taking due consideration of the fact that Moldova advanced European Integration through the project’s implementation. 

The full evaluation process is to be completed by September 2024.


4. Evaluation questions

In its proposal, the Evaluator is invited to submit a series of preliminary evaluation questions covering the aspects described in the previous section. Once the contract is awarded, these questions will be open to discussion so that the consortium members can suggest new angles or fields of inquiry according to their first-hand experience acquired during implementation. In other words, the final set of evaluation questions will be decided following a co-creation process involving the consortium but nonetheless led by the evaluator(s). It is to be noted that the Project already undergoes a mid-term review in November 2024 within the framework of a Results-Oriented Monitoring (ROM) review commissioned by the European Union - this final evaluation will need to complement its findings.

Some overarching questions are proposed below, however the bidders are welcome to suggest other approaches:

Relevance: Has the Project been sensitive and relevant to the political economy and policy contexts in  which it unfolded?  Did the Project’s problem statement hold true?  How were the needs and priorities of target beneficiaries taken into account throughout the Project life cycle?

Effectiveness: To what extent were implementation strategies effective in delivering expected results? 

Efficiency: Has the Project used its resources well? How have organisational mandates and thematic priorities within the consortium affected the ability  to work comprehensively, i.e. with a wide range of stakeholders in the different political systems at national, regional and continental level?  

Coherence: How coherent was the overall approach and implementation of the Project in achieving its stated objectives and outcomes?

Sustainability: What is the likelihood of the Project’s results being sustained in the future? Which elements of the Project are more or less sustainable? How has the Project been able to address this?

EU added value: What has been the added value of the intervention being funded specifically by the EU compared to other donors? 

5. Evaluation methods

The Project’s results chain was defined in a Logical Framework Matrix during the design phase. This will be the basis for the “accountability” dimension of the Evaluation. To this end, the project team has been tracking instances of progress for each of the three outcomes and the associated progress markers. The Evaluator shall consider the descriptions of progress as one of the key sources of evidence.

Beyond the indicators expressed in the Logframe, the Evaluator shall consider to identify and substantiate a number of outcomes following the Outcome Harvesting method. In other words, concrete behavioural changes of social actors are to be identified. Besides, the Evaluator shall also consider exploring other methods such as Social Network Analysis, Contribution Analysis or Narrative Assessment to answer one or more of the evaluations questions. The principles and assessment techniques of Political Economy Analysis shall be streamlined across the whole evaluation exercise in order to ensure a sound understanding of the key political factors affecting the project activities.  

Data collection methods could combine desk reviews, field visits to the target districts, interviews and focus groups (including with the project team). 

The final design of the evaluation process, including its methods, will be the result of the co-creation process referred above.  


6. Deliverables and timeline

  • A Report on results achieved under Outputs 1 and 2, describing the methodology used for the assessment and featuring:
    • An outcome harvest of the most significant results achieved by FSTPs scheme beneficiaries’ under schemes 1 to 6. A sample of at least 25% of these outcomes should be substantiated to ensure their reliability.
    • A collection of best practices in the field of social accountability in Moldova with regard to LPAs-CSOs collaboration based on the project’s results.
    • A set of brief assessments of the progress made by the project beneficiaries (for at least 20 CSOs), based on the initial needs assessment conducted by the project. 
    • Recommendations for further implementation of large subgranting schemes at the local level.
  • A report on results achieved under Output 3, containing a process and contribution analysis of policy dialogue with the Project.
  • A full evaluation report (in English), also including:
    • An executive summary (not exceeding 5 pages; in both Romanian and English);
    • Other innovative forms of communicating evaluation findings are encouraged.



Indicative deadline

Inception report


Draft Report


Final Report


Presentation of Evaluation Report 

  • at consortium level;
  • to the donor  and any other interested parties identified along the evaluation. 



7. Documents to be consulted (preliminary list)

The following documents will provide the Evaluator with background information and insight into project  implementation and achievement of the objectives:

  • Project proposal (Description of the Action attached to the contract);
  • Results chain (Logical Framework attached to the contract);  
  • Interim reports submitted to the EU;
  • Internal monthly reporting to the EU;
  • Research and policy documents produced over the course of the Project, including:  CSOs Needs assessment; Deliverables produced by subgrantees;
  • Mid-term evaluation report (ROM review) of the Project.


8. Budget

The maximum total budget available under this contract is EUR 20 000 including VAT and/or any other taxes. Any  travel costs (and related costs) need to be covered within that budget. 

The budget will be split in three instalments, to be transferred to the Evaluator after the completion of the afore-mentioned assignments.


9. Eligibility criteria

The Evaluator must fulfil the following criteria:

  • Proven track record of conducting project evaluations in the field of democratic governance, citizens’ engagement and local development; 
  • Prior experience of working in the Republic of Moldova is a must;
  • Excellent knowledge of English and Romanian is required; a good command of Russian is an advantage;
  • The application is complete and submitted in due time in accordance with Article 10 of the present TOR.

Applicants are invited to submit the application documents detailed below, which as a whole constitute the application package. Incomplete applications will not be considered. 


10. Application procedure

10.1 Deadline 

Interested bidders are requested to submit a technical and financial offer which will be assessed by an Evaluation Committee against the criteria listed in Annex 1. Please find Annex 1 below at the end of the TOR.  

The application package is to be sent at the latest by 11 February 2024, 23:59 CET to ; Subject line: ‘“EU4Accountability - Evaluation”

Requests for clarification may be submitted to the email address above until 4 February 2024, 23:59 CET. Answers will be published on EPD’s website by 6 February 2024, 23:59 CET

10.2 Technical offer

The technical offer is composed of 

10.3  Financial offer

The financial offer shall be: 

  • A separate document in the form of a quotation
  • Broken down into a detailed budget, that includes the total amount of the offer, all taxes included. 

10.4 Selection modalities

An Evaluation Steering Committee will be established to evaluate the bids and coordinate the evaluation process on behalf of the consortium. The committee, led by the EPD Head of Programmes, will be the first line of contact with the evaluation team lead.  

The technical offer will be  weighted with 80%; the financial offer will be weighted with 20%. Only candidates scoring at least 75/100 with regard to the criteria set in Annex 1 for their technical offer will have their financial offer considered. Bidders may be invited for an interview during the technical evaluation if deemed necessary by the Evaluation Steering Committee. 

EPD reserves the right to enter into a negotiation with the candidates  on the financial offer proposed by them, before finalising the selection process. The selection process will be finalised after candidates shortlisted in the second step of the process have been interviewed by the  Evaluation Committee and agreement on the offer has been found.  


11. Data treatment

EPD collects and treats your private data in compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation  2016/679 i.e. hereby requests personal data only for recruitment purposes, pursuing a legitimate interest in  a reasonable way, and will delete them after it is judged no longer necessary to archive. Shortlisted  applications will be provided to the Funding Agency to ensure compliance with EU procurement rules in  external action projects. By bidding to this tender, you authorise EPD to treat your personal data accordingly.





Experience in evaluations and with relevant

evaluation methods


Experience in the Republic of Moldova


Relevant language skills (English and Romanian)


Quality of the methodology’s rationale and strategy


Overall total score












NB: Only candidates with technical average scores of at least 75 points qualify for the financial evaluation