REOI: Independent Evaluation of infoDev

REOI: Independent Evaluation of infoDev

Deadline: May 3, 2012
infoDev is seeking expressions of interest (EOI) from eligible consultants interested in providing expert services to perform the following study on the "Independent Evaluation of infoDev." To respond to this EOI please register your interest no later than 11.59PM EST on May 3rd, 2012 via the World Bank's eConsult2 system, selection # 1065827

Introduction and Background

infoDev is a global partnership program within the World Bank Group working at the crossroads of innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship to create opportunities for inclusive growth, job creation and poverty reduction. infoDev assists governments and innovative, technology-enabled small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to grow jobs, improve capacity and skills, increase access to finance and markets, ensure the appropriate enabling policy and regulatory environment for business to flourish, and test innovative solutions in developing country markets. While infoDev was originally established to promote the use of information and communications technologies for development (ICT4D), it has, since 2008, expanded and evolved its focus to the issues listed above.

infoDev is a partnership of bilateral and multilateral development agencies, working in close cooperation with international organizations, civil society and the private sector. The infoDev program receives funding from external donors via trust funds administered by the World Bank. The Secretariat is located in the World Bank Group’s Financial and Private Sector Development Vice-Presidency.

In addition to its field based work, the infoDev program has also become renowned as a premier research organization, creating trusted knowledge in the field of technology for development, particularly, the use of ICT4D. infoDev helps maximize the contribution and impact of the private sector in developing countries through support for technology-enabled innovation, new business and partnership models and toolkits, and the creation of user-driven networks among entrepreneurs, financiers, investors, policymakers and the international donor community. 

Since its founding in 1995, infoDev has administered over 400 grants which support innovative pilot projects, wide-ranging policy dialogues and the preparation and dissemination of valuable knowledge, research and analyses and best-practice guidance on the role of technology in development and poverty reduction. To date, infoDev has also developed and maintained a global network of over 400 incubators, reaching more than 25,000 enterprises in over 100 developing countries.

Independent evaluations of the infoDev program were undertaken in 1999, 2002 and 2007. In 1999, the independent evaluation confirmed that infoDev was fulfilling a unique role and function in the ICT4D community, and that its location within the World Bank facilitated this role and function. It recommended that infoDev increase dissemination of lessons learned from its projects, find new ways to engage the private sector, and reach out to more and different stakeholders in recipient countries. The 2002 evaluation concluded that the earlier purpose of infoDev — to convince the development community that ICT was integral to development — had been largely successful and that infoDev needed to now capitalize on the legitimacy and intellectual reputation it had established by incorporating a strong focus on knowledge capture and dissemination, and by reducing field based projects and pilots. As a partial response to this recommendation, an exercise was conducted in 2003 to evaluate 17 pilot projects of infoDev’s. The 2007 evaluation traced infoDev’s evolution from a project-funding agency to a “think tank” for bilateral and multilateral donors. Based on the findings of this most recent evaluation infoDev management took corrective actions to target the noted deficiencies based on the recommendations. infoDev then established a distinct niche for itself as a provider of authoritative knowledge products and services in the ICT4D domain.

In 2008, infoDev’s work program evolved beyond its traditional roots in the ICT4D space. Partly, this was in response to a decline in donor funding available for ICT4D. It was also because of shifts in the international landscape which led to a prioritization of the agendas of economic inclusion, job creation and innovation as a tool for development. infoDev kept some of its valuable work on ICT4D, in particular its landmark knowledge publications for regulators and policymakers, but it expanded its reach and scale to include a focus on innovation and technology entrepreneurship. Central to this decision was infoDev’s large network of innovators, entrepreneurs and small business incubators around the world, which, by 2011, was the largest of its kind in the world. Donors and partners interested in private sector development, SME growth, job creation and innovation responded positively to this shift in focus.

Purpose and Scope of the Evaluation

The purpose of this evaluation is to assess the performance of the infoDev program over the last four years, i.e from fiscal years 2007-2011. The evaluation will draw lessons from the years under review, identify successes, assess the effectiveness of the evolution of infoDev’s work program, and provide recommendations to the Secretariat, the World Bank and infoDev’s donors and partners on how to address any potential issues or shortcomings it identifies. The evaluation will take account of the external environment in which infoDev operates, the priorities of its donors and of the World Bank, as well as the evolving needs of infoDev’s client countries. It will also take account of the recommendations made by Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) in its 2010 report entitled Evaluation of Trust Funds in the World Bank’s Support for Development. The evaluation will comprise the following components:

Relevance: What are the international development community’s objectives in the areas of innovation, ICT4D and technology entrepreneurship? How do infoDev’s activities meaningfully create opportunities for inclusive growth, job creation and poverty reduction? Do these meet the needs expressed by client countries and respond adequately to their demand drivers? What do donors want and need from infoDev? Is infoDev responding to these demand drivers with the right tools? Is it using the right methods for community building, knowledge sharing and capacity building? Is it exploiting its comparative advantages in relation to other programs? Is it exploiting all possible opportunities for partnerships? Is the program responsive to the strategic directions set by the World Bank Group? Is infoDev interacting effectively with relevant actors within the World Bank Group, with multilateral organizations, with partner agencies, private sector players and donor organizations?

Effectiveness: To what extent is infoDev achieving its intended objectives, outcomes, and impacts? Examining a set of specific projects and activities, selected in collaboration with the infoDev Secretariat, how effective have these been in terms of meeting client and donor expectations, achieving measurable and tangible impact, meeting World Bank goals and deepening knowledge on development issues? What direct feedback do client countries provide on the benefits they have gained from infoDev’s work? Have infoDev’s projects and activities been effective in terms of timeliness of delivery, stakeholder outreach, resource mobilization, and dissemination of knowledge? Have infoDev’s governance arrangements and secretariat structure facilitated participation, transparency and accountability? Do client countries and other recipients and beneficiaries exercise an effective voice in infoDev? Do donors participate effectively in the strategic governance of the program? How effective is infoDev’s communications with its external partners and stakeholders and internally within the World Bank Group?

Efficiency: Does infoDev operate efficiently in terms of staffing, cost structures, World Bank administrative processes and time to implementation? Is infoDev’s efficiency and cost-effectiveness best achieved through core multi-donor trust funds or via single donor trust funds? Do infoDev programs and activities provide value for money?

Innovativeness: How innovative are infoDev’s projects, products and activities? Have they tried new approaches, explored new business models and created cutting-edge new knowledge? Do they support and encourage “innovation at the grassroots” by stakeholders in developing countries? Does infoDev demonstrate innovation in its dealings and partnerships with a range of public, private and civil society actors? Has infoDev been able to innovatively use new communications channels to carry out, communicate, disseminate and share its work?

Financial Sustainability: How financially sustainable is infoDev today and what actions should infoDev take to ensure its medium and longer term financial sustainability? Has the work program evolution and the corresponding resource mobilization strategy implemented by the Secretariat been effective in growing a sustainable base of support for the program? Have the financial sustainability recommendations of the 2007 independent evaluation been effectively implemented? 

Presence within the World Bank Group: infoDev moved to the Financial and Private Sector Development Vice-Presidency of the World Bank Group from the Sustainable Development Vice Presidency. Has this realignment, which reflects a change in infoDev’s role from serving an infrastructure agenda to a jobs and private sector development agenda, been effective?  How well known is infoDev within the World Bank Group, and is it leveraging its position within the Bank well? Has it become recognized within the Bank as an expert on the issues under its charge? Is it effectively linking its work and leveraging its donors’ resources to the World Bank Group’s agenda, programs and priorities?

Results Framework:  How effectively does infoDev measure expected outcomes and impacts? Are the indicators used to assess performance adequate or clear enough? Do they effectively capture both qualitative and quantitative measures of success? Do they properly reflect metrics of innovation, dynamic technology and entrepreneurship? How can infoDev’s M&E framework be further strengthened, harmonized and improved, taking into account the different logframe requirements of its donors? What new and updated frameworks and tools can infoDev use?

Expected Deliverables

·         Inception report and a preliminary de-briefing with FPD Vice President, Director of Innovation Technology and Entrepreneurship, and the infoDev team. The contracted firm should conduct interviews and introductory de-briefs with the infoDev team and its leaders. It should then develop and clear an inception report with these parties.

·         Interim Report. The contracted firm will report the initial findings and recommendations to the infoDev team, seek clarification, and address any factual gaps or errors in the report. Thereafter, the contracted firm will provide an interim report to the infoDev team. The Interim Report shall not exceed 60 pages, excluding appendixes.

·         Final Report and Recommendations. The contracted firm will provide a final report and recommendations to the infoDev team, its leaders and its donors. It shall coordinate with infoDev on a wider publication and dissemination strategy to partners and stakeholders from around the world. 

Suggested Timeframe:

April 16, 2012                    Calls for Expressions of Interest

May 3, 2012                        Close REOI Stage

May 21, 2012                      Issue RFP

June 25, 2012                     Selection of firm and engagement

July 16, 2012                       Delivery of inception report

August 20, 2012                First Draft of Evaluation Report

December 1, 2012            Delivery of Interim Report

January 31, 2013               Final report and recommendations

February 15, 2013            Dissemination workshop

Methodology:

The methodology for this evaluation should be set out in the proposals made and further developed and presented in the inception report. The methodology should include, but not be limited to:

·         Desk reviews of infoDev and World Bank key documents including Annual and semi-Annual Reports, work program documents for the years 2007-11,  past evaluation reports and any other documents judged relevant.

·         Interviews with infoDev Secretariat staff at the Washington D.C. office, and phone interviews with key staff and consultants in the field.

·         Interviews and/or survey questionnaires of infoDev stakeholders and constituencies such as, its donors; partner institutions including NGOs, private companies, universities and development organizations; project task managers; grant recipients; client country institutions receiving assistance; and World Bank Group country units in countries where infoDev activities take place.

·         An appropriate engagement of infoDev’s grassroots presence, via video or audio conferences and where agreed with infoDev within the budgets allocated, selected site visits.

·         A mix of both quantitative and qualitative indicators and data gathering methodologies.

·         Any additional methodologies and sources of information that the contracted firm thinks necessary to accomplish its tasks, including the option to sub-contract certain tasks or topics to other expert parties.

Component II:

Background/Introduction

Creating Sustainable Businesses in the Knowledge Economy

The Creating Sustainable Businesses in the Knowledge Economy (CSBKE) program kicked off in December 2009 and full program implementation commenced upon receipt of donor funds in May 2010. The program runs till December 2013 and is now at the halfway point. This program is intended as a proof of concept phase, allowing room for innovative experimentation, the development of interesting new business models and creative engagement of communities of practice. In accordance with the terms of the program, infoDev will commission an overarching independent evaluation of the program at its conclusion, which in turn, will inform any decision to proceed with a second phase of the program.

CSBKE Evaluation Objectives:

·         To learn from the program implementation to date in the three key areas of mobile applications, agribusiness and technology-based entrepreneurship, identify lessons for improvement and note successes that can be scaled and replicated elsewhere.

·         To describe the ways in which the program has contributed to sustainable socio-economic development to gather direct feedback from users, recipients and beneficiaries on how the CSBKE helped them.

·         To explore how closely the CSBKE contributed to Finland’s development goals and partner country assistance programs and strategies.

·         To explore the extent to which CSBKE projects can feasibly be mainstreamed into World Bank Group programs.

·         To examine whether the thematic areas of focus are timely and relevant to global development activities and discourse, and if so, how.

·         To explore whether the benefits of the program were experienced beyond Finland’s partner countries and whether it is feasible that the program be extended beyond these countries.

·         To explore the level of participation in program activities of a range of public and private sector local stakeholders in developing/partner countries, in particular, the involvement of women.

·         To analyze the multiplier effects of the program, for instance in leveraging additional funds, in informing similar initiatives, in stimulating debate and action in developing countries, in spurring trade and business, and in providing the basis for new initiatives.

·         To analyze the quality and rigor of the analytical work delivered by the program, the dissemination efforts to date, and how this analytical work has been used by the audiences to which is was disseminated.

·         To understand better the ways in which the activities and outcomes of the program were communicated to stakeholders around the world by infoDev, the Finnish Foreign Ministry and Nokia and to see where lessons can be learned.

·         To examine the involvement of and partnership with Nokia in the program, so as to better understand how public private partnerships should be run.

·         To explore the links forged between the Finnish innovation stakeholders and their counterparts in developing countries and with the World Bank Group.

·         To explore how the CSBKE has added value to infoDev’s overall work program and strategic directions, and the extent to which other donors and partners have demonstrated interest in and commitment to the CSBKE activities.

·         To make recommendations on whether a possible Phase 2 for the program should be envisaged and to identify priority areas for future work.

·         To understand resonance between the program and Finland’s new development policy

Korean Trust Fund on ICT4D

In 2008, the Republic of Korea established the Korean Trust Fund (KTF) on ICT for Development (ICT4D). This was done in partnership with the then Global ICT (GICT) Department of the World Bank Group. The $15 million trust fund is administered by infoDev. It supports a range of World Bank projects that demonstrate cutting-edge approaches to development issues using ICTs. The aim of the KTF is to help the World Bank Group remain a force for transformative development outcomes through the use of ICTs. In accordance with requirements from Korea’s Ministry of Strategy and Finance, infoDev will commission an independent evaluation of the program at its end.

KTF Evaluation Objectives: 

·         Learn from the program implementation to date, identify lessons for improvement and note successes.

·         Explore how closely the KTF has contributed to Korea’s development goals and the fulfillment of its development policy.

·         Explore the extent to which KTF funded projects and activities have established effective operational linkages with World Bank Group sectoral, regional and country level programs.

·         Analyze via a sampling of these projects and activities, the quality and rigor of work funded, and how this work has benefited the clients and stakeholders for which it was developed.

·         Examine whether the thematic areas of focus identified during the various Call of Proposals windows were relevant to Korean, World Bank and global development priorities.

·         Determine if the KTF governance, management structure and project selection processes are well articulated, efficient, and working well to bring about transparency, accountability, and strategic and effective management.

·         Explore how the KTF has added value to infoDev’s overall work program and strategic directions.

·         Explore the level of participation in KTF projects and activities by Korean stakeholders and whether such participation has been mutually beneficial and effective.

·         Understand better the ways in which the activities and outcomes of the KTF were effectively communicated to stakeholders within the World Bank Group, among donors and in client countries.

·         Examine broadly the extent to which the benefits arising from KTF activities are likely to continue after the funded activities have been completed.

·         Make recommendations on whether a possible Phase 2 for the KTF should be envisaged, what changes and improvements could be made and identify priority areas for future work.

Methodology

A similar approach should be taken as set out in the overall infoDev evaluation, including document reviews, surveys and case studies, and interviews/consultations with partners, the donor, grantees and recipients. The evaluation should be primarily carried out by desk research, questionnaires and phone / video interviews, but may involve travel, on-line consultations and site visits where appropriate and within the proscribed budget.Methodology:The methodology for this evaluation should be set out in the proposals made and further developed and presented in the inception report. The methodology should include, but not be limited to:

·         Desk reviews of infoDev and World Bank key documents including Annual and semi-Annual Reports, work program documents for the years 2007-11,  past evaluation reports and any other documents judged relevant.

·         Interviews with infoDev Secretariat staff at the Washington D.C. office, and phone interviews with key staff and consultants in the field.

·         Interviews and/or survey questionnaires of infoDev stakeholders and constituencies such as, its donors; partner institutions including NGOs, private companies, universities and development organizations; project task managers; grant recipients; client country institutions receiving assistance; and World Bank Group country units in countries where infoDev activities take place.

·         An appropriate engagement of infoDev’s grassroots presence, via video or audio conferences and where agreed with infoDev within the budgets allocated, selected site visits.

·         A mix of both quantitative and qualitative indicators and data gathering methodologies.

·         Any additional methodologies and sources of information that the contracted firm thinks necessary to accomplish its tasks, including the option to sub-contract certain tasks or topics to other expert parties.


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