Main tasks and methodology

The Evaluation is required to relate its findings and recommendations credibly to reliable evidence, in accordance with good development evaluation practice and sound professional methods and criteria. The Evaluation must be independent and external, and recognized as such by the Management Group responsible for the Evaluation, as well as by the international development community and the general public. It should meet the high-quality standards required to be able to contribute inputs to the deliberations of the Joint Advisory Group of the ITC.

The service provider must use a variety of evaluation instruments and techniques adapted to ITC’s mandate and in conformity with good development evaluation practices and criteria. The Evaluation should attempt to find innovative methodologies and new approaches. As a number of ITC´s services are market-driven and targeted towards the business sector, the tenderers are encouraged to explore new and quantitative/economic evaluation methods. Where relevant, qualitative methods should complement the soundness and reliability of findings and results.

The Evaluation service provider may also extend the evaluation to other aspects of the workings of ITC that it considers important and for which it has the time and expertise to deal with beyond the above-mentioned primary and secondary foci of the Evaluation. The service provider may recommend appropriate follow-up by ITC if, for any subject outside its focus, a thorough and credible evaluation cannot be performed within the time and resources available to the service provider. In selecting specific countries, the service provider will ensure that the samples used are representative of ITC operations and free from any biases that could undermine the independence, impartiality and credibility of the evaluation. It is expected that the service provider will employ stratified, multi-stage random sampling methods for this purpose.

The Evaluation is conceived as a process consisting of a number of stages and tasks. Specifically, the evaluation will consist of three distinct phases (se section IX for specific deliverables in each phase):

Phase I:

This phase consist of a desk study of existing documentation, which comprises appraisal reports, project documents, review and evaluation reports as well as ITC and international policy papers on trade and development and relevant literature. The review of the documents is to be supported and complemented by interviews with key staff at ITC’s Headquarters, at partnership organisations and in member country capitals. The purpose of the desk study and the interviews is to identify key policy issues, developments and changes. An evaluation matrix is to be drawn up as the basis for the subsequent work of the evaluation. The matrix will include a set of indicators for policies and implementation.

Work under Phase I shall also identify appropriate, state-of-the-art methodologies suited for evaluating the subject matter. Special considerations shall be given to the thorough preparation of the country case studies, and shall include aspects such as: (i) elaboration of general criteria for the selection of country cases taking into account the need for a random and representative sample (not necessarily statistically representative); (ii) preparation of country profiles; and, (iii) preparatory tracking studies (recorded outcome and impact on beneficiaries, other impact, etc. based on ITC’s own reporting) in order to gain a better insight. The process shall result in the identification of key issues and questions to be studied during the field phase, formulation of hypotheses to be tested and a set of appropriate indicators. In this connection the standards and benchmarks of the framework of references shall be established and thoroughly discussed with a view to obtaining as much consensus of the criteria to be applied as possible and thereby increasing the credibility of the evaluation.

The Management Group and the Evaluation Team shall prepare a set of standards and benchmarks to be applied in the evaluation. This is especially important in the evaluation of performance in non-quantitative areas, such as capacity building and institutional development.

The result of the work in Phase I shall be a detailed work plan for the remainder of the evaluation, including TOR for country case studies and the final selection of countries.

Phase II:

Phase II will consist of a number of country case studies based on field visits. Country selection shall take into account the need to represent different categories of activities, different levels of activities; the different regions in which ITC operates, and different country categories e.g. LDCs and countries in transition using stratified, random sampling.

The field studies should preferably be designed to allow for cross-country studies to be undertaken taking into consideration that the main focus of the evaluation probably will be thematic issues within trade promotion and less on the actual state of the projects.

The field studies shall to as large extent as possible draw on local consultants and expertise.

Phase III:

The findings collected during the first two phases shall be analysed during the last phase and, as necessary and relevant, supplemented by additional fact finding, consolidated and synthesised into a report. As part of the process of consolidation and synthesising, conclusions are to be drawn based on the actual findings and research results, and the hypotheses are to be tested to determine whether they can be supported or must be rejected. A synthesis workshop of the draft synthesis report is to be organised with a view to furthering a policy debate on the main issues in trade and development. The participants would be representatives from the target groups as well as a peer group of specialists. Finally, recommendations based on the outcome of conclusions and supported hypotheses are to be made.

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