A final evaluation of Action Against Hunger’s “Promoting the improvement of Informal waste pickers’ working conditions in northern and central Jordan”

Action Contre la Faim France

1. BACKGROUND

Eleven years into the Syrian conflict, more than 1.3 million Syrians have sought refuge in Jordan; 676,164 are registered refugees and approximately 80% live in non-camp settings. This influx of refugees has strained Jordan’s economy and resources, with Syrians often accepting worse working conditions and lower compensation than Jordanians and taking on low-skill, informal jobs in sectors such as in manufacturing, construction and agriculture. In 2022, Jordan had a 23% unemployment rate, with 32% of women and 52% of youth unemployed, showing clear gender and age gaps. For Syrian refugees, unemployment rates are significantly worse with 80% of Syrian refugees unemployed in 2021, up from 50% and 65% in 2019 and 2020.

The growing industrialization and population growth rate in Jordan has led to the rapid increase in solid waste generation with over 2.7 million tons of waste produced annually, of which 7% is recycled and 93% is landfilled or openly dumped. This has put increasing pressure on waste management infrastructure and municipalities (who are responsible for collecting solid waste), particularly in the northern governorates where refugee populations are most concentrated. Municipal waste in the country has steadily increased from 1.5 million tons in 2000 to about 2.5 million tons in 2016. In Greater Irbid Municipality, a significant deterioration in solid waste management has been observed between 2011 – when the Syrian crisis began – and 2016 with a 2.5-time increase in solid waste collection and transport costs incurred by the municipality. Despite a significant increase in cost associated with solid waste management, almost 60% of greater Irbid citizens reported a decline in the quality of solid waste management services received during the corresponding period. This highlights where there remain significant inefficiencies in current municipal solid waste management operations and capacities. Based on estimates from UNDP, the net plastic and paper waste value lost to landfilling amounts 50 million JOD/year, underscoring where there is significant potential to reclaim the value of waste, and cost-recover municipal solid waste services, and create jobs within the recycling sector as part of Jordan’s green economy.

With almost no formal recycling systems existing in Jordan, an informal waste recycling sector has developed over the last 20 years. This takes the form of informal waste workers collecting waste, sorting it, and selling it to scrap dealers and other middlemen. These distributors then conduct low-level processing and on-sell the waste for further recycling at factories that use either the waste for domestic production of construction, plumbing, hospitality and décor materials, or further process for export. The informal nature of much of this work has limited its scale-up and efficiency, but has also resulted in adverse working conditions in the sector. While informal waste workers play a critical role in the value chain, they face a number of challenges including insecure income, social stigma, and hazardous work.

With solid waste management an increasing environmental, social and economic priority in Jordan, it is reflected in a number of policy and planning frameworks, key amongst which are the National Municipal Solid Waste Management Strategy and Action Plan 20215-2034. the Jordan Response Plan for the Syrian Crisis 2020-22, the Green Growth National Action Plan 2021-2025, National Strategy and Action Plan for Sustainable Consumption and Production in Jordan 2016-2025, and the Jordan Vision 2025 which has set a 33% reduction target in the solid waste amounts disposed in landfills or dumpsites by 2025.

With field offices in Irbid and Azraq and a head office in Amman, Action Against Hunger (ACF) has been operational in Jordan since 2014, delivering livelihoods, social protection WASH and MHPSS programming in Irbid, Zarqa, Mafraq, and Madaba governorates. Through its livelihoods and social protection program, ACF aims to improve the livelihood status of Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanians through decent and sustainable employment opportunities; strengthening sustainable livelihoods and value chains and enhancing the capacity of local actors to promote economic opportunities and improve working conditions. So far, ACF has reached over 7,000 beneficiaries through its social protection and livelihood activities in 2022.

Since 2016, ACF has increased access to economic employment opportunities in the circular and green economy through: 1) cash for work for municipal waste management services; 2) the promotion of improved working conditions for waste workers; 3) vocational training and apprenticeships within the waste value chain; and 4) business grants and support for micro and home-based businesses to start or re-start business in the circular economy. ACF adopts a value chain facilitation approach by working across actors in the value chain, and facilitating better linkages between them for enhanced productivity and improved access to dignified, formal employment. Key actors ACF works with include:

  • Waste workers: on-the-job training; occupational health and safety training and personal protective equipment; advocacy for working conditions and increased formalization; establishment of cooperatives; business grants
  • Scrap dealers: establishment of cooperatives; access to finance for business development
  • Domestic manufacturers, factories for the export/resuse of processed recyclables: provision of wage subsidies
  • Civil society actors working on environmental protection: community awareness campaigns
  • Municipalities: Establishment of Solid Waste Management Municipal Plans; support for collection and sorting
  • The Ministry of Local Administration, Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Labour: Engaging in the formalisation of labour market, advocacy, and the establishment of public-private partnerships

Since 2020, ACF has implemented the Promoting the improvement of Informal waste pickers’ working conditions in northern and central Jordan project in collaboration with GIZ and funded by the European Union and BMZ. Through this project in Irbid, Madaba, and Mafraq, ACF has strengthen the skills of informal waste workers to secure more formal, dignified employment through apprenticeships, business grants, and networking with other waste workers to identify mechanisms to improve conditions and types of work in the solid waste management sector. As part of this, ACF developed a research report in 2022 on the working conditions of informal waste workers in the northern governorates of Jordan and conducted a national dissemination event with the participation of the government, civil society, and private actors. In addition, ACF has also supported enhanced social, economic, and health protections for informal waste workers through the establishment of representative participatory bodies of waste workers in Irbid, Madaba and Mafraq; facilitated dialogue between solid waste management stakeholders, including waste workers; advocated with the Ministry of Local Administration and municipalities on workers protections; and improved opportunities for formalised, safe and dignified work through skills improvement, and income diversification through employment and self-employment opportunities.

Towards the completion of the project in May 2023, ACF is seeking a consultant to conduct a final evaluation on the project documenting how interventions have contributed towards the achievement of key results/objective and changes experienced by project beneficiaries. This evaluation is expected document the holistic intended and unintended outcomes of ACF’s layered interventions to-date, provide some recommendations to consider for future programming and document lessons learned and findings that can be applied to ACF’s design of other solid waste management/livelihoods projects in Jordan.

1.1. Project Areas and Timeframe

The project has been implemented from January 2020 to May 2023 in Irbid, Madaba and Mafraq governorates.

1.2. Project Objectives

Overall objective: To improve waste pickers socio-economic conditions through comprehensive livelihoods interventions in the Solid Waste Management sector in Jordan

Specific objective: To improve the working conditions and the employability profile of informal waste pickers and scrap dealers in Irbid, Madaba, and Mafraq Governorates.

Expected Results:

  • R1. A Participatory Body representing waste pickers and scrap dealers in Irbid, Madaba, and Mafraq Governorates has been established and registered in Jordan

The first year of the intervention focused on the creation of a Participatory Body that will represent and advocate for waste pickers in the three governorates. Based on local interest and needs expressed by scrap dealers, ACF planned to explore the best modality and focus within each governorate. Where there is an interest to group waste pickers together with small and medium scrap dealers, a joint structure will be considered and discussed with the authorities. This type of joint structure reuniting the two groups could potentially provide mutual benefits:

– For waste pickers: a formalized structure will benefit their working conditions in terms of safety, legal status, and social security. Additionally, waste pickers could collectively sell their waste to the scrap dealers and obtain higher prices than when they are selling to individual scrap dealers.

– For scrap dealers: small scrap dealers that are not registered benefited from this legal umbrella, and collectively they will be stronger towards bigger private sector actors that are active in the waste sector. This entity aimed to enhance their capacities to have a better network for accessing grants and funds in the future.

During the first year, ACF engaged more than 150 waste pickers – and integrating small and medium scrap dealers – who were encouraged to take part in the Participatory Bodies through the opportunity to assess, and then take a substantive role in defining improvements for, their working conditions along the SWM value chain. The creation of the Participatory Body took place in coordination with the relevant authorities, mainly the Ministry of Local Administration (MoLA), municipalities, the Joint Services Councils (JSCs), the Ministry of Environment (MoENV), the Social Security Department, and the Ministry of Social Development (MoSD).

  • R2. Informal waste pickers’ working conditions are improved through the recommendations proposed by the Participatory Body established within the project.

As a complementary intervention to the creation of the Participatory Bodies, ACF focused on the improvement of waste pickers’ working conditions, primarily through the delivery of protective equipment and, when needed, to the referral to Jordanian public healthcare center’s for recommended / required vaccinations, such as hepatitis B and tetanus. With this occupational health and safety, training was provided and toolboxes were distributed.

In addition, an assessment on the working conditions of waste pickers was developed using participatory approaches. The report was disseminated during a national event involving stakeholders across the sector and provided visibility on the participatory bodies and the role of waste workers in the solid waste management sector.

  • R3. Informal waste workers improved their employability and business profile through the access to trainings and financial opportunities

In parallel to the work on the improvement of waste pickers’ working conditions, ACF also promoted employment opportunities for the waste pickers. By considering the risks for marginalization and loss of income related to the rehabilitation of the landfills, ACF provided a comprehensive support package that addresses workers’ access to sources of income including on the job training to 170 waste workers and business support through grants.

Participatory bodies were also supported to access direct grants through GIZ.

An exchange visits for representatives of the Participatory Body was also facilitated. These visits enabled an exchange of lessons learnt and knowledge with experiences of waste pickers integration and formalization in Tunisia. ACF provided technical guidance to the Participatory Body in the preparation for their participation.

2. PURPOSE OF THE EVALUATION

The focus of the evaluation is to review the project interventions against its objectives and to assess the impact on beneficiaries and key stakeholders from the intervention. The evaluation will particularly look into the following criteria:

  • Relevance: defined as the extent to which the initiative responds to the contextual priorities, policies in place and real needs of the target groups, recipients and donor;
  • Effectiveness: defined as the extent to which activities have led to achieve intended results;
  • Efficiency: defined as the extent to which the intervention delivers, or is likely to deliver, results in an economic and timely way. This includes operational efficiency, such as management and coordination

Sustainability and impact: defined as the extent to which the benefits of the intervention can continue after the end of the project. In addition, the evaluation will document key lessons learned from the implementation and provide recommendations for future solid waste management and livelihoods programs in Jordan.

Questions

Relevance: What is the relevance of the project in the wider SWM sector and how responsive was it to the local context and needs?

  1. To what extent does the intervention draw upon local and national SWM strategies and plans?
  2. How much does the intervention complement other priorities in the sector or in the area?
  3. How well does the project support the objectives of national and local SWM strategies and plans (including the Green Growth Strategy and National Solid Waste Management Strategy)?
  4. Was it relevant to establish the participatory bodies in the selected three governorates, based on the local context, needs and priorities?
  5. Did the activities implemented in the project respond to the needs and priorities of local waste pickers/workers targeted? To what extent did the project adapt to changing needs/context over time to ensure its relevance?

Effectiveness: To what extent has, the program met its targets.

  1. To what extent did the implemented activities meet its objectives as stated in the project documents? What were the major factors (internal, external, operational, technical, etc.) influencing the achievement or non-achievement of different objectives?
  2. To what extent did the creation of participatory bodies, assist in enhancing the visibility of waste workers and their working conditions?
  3. To what extent have beneficiaries’ capacity and skills been strengthened through their access to trainings and business support activities?
  4. To what extent has the local waste management, value chain been strengthened (including coordination between actors) because of the project? What could have been done to strengthen this further?
  5. Did the project encourage the Private Sector to introduce value-added services?
  6. To what extent have the working conditions been improved through this project? What could have been done to improve this further?
  7. To what extent were employers receptive to the enhancement in occupational health and safety practices in the business and respect for labor laws? Did they understand and buy into its importance?
  8. Did the project support recognizing the informal sector by the government? if so, were there any influence on the related policy making?

Efficiency: To what extent were the results delivered in a cost-effective and timely manner?

  1. How has the engagement of various stakeholders facilitated the project’s results?
  2. Were the right stakeholders involved, and the most efficient strategies of engagement selected? What could have been improved?
  3. How efficient was the process of waste pickers beneficiary selection and what could be improved?
  4. How efficient were project management and implementation structures in delivering program objectives across the different results? Were the right resources in place within the project? What alternatives could have been more efficient?
  5. Were the capacity building activities for the project beneficiaries effectively identified and implemented?

Impact: What were the positive and negative changes produced by the project’s interventions?

  1. What are the actual changes (positive, negative, intended, unintended) that have occurred toward vulnerable waste workers reached by the project as a results of receiving layer livelihoods and working condition interventions? What has changed? For whom? Are changes different for waste pickers and scrap dealers, for Syrian refugees and Jordanians?
  2. Are project impacts different for women and men and why?
  3. How did the project contribute to enhancing waste segregation within its respective municipalities of operation?
  4. Did the project have an impact on municipal waste collection?

Sustainability: How has the project ensured the sustainability of its results?

  1. Is there evidence to suggest that the business established through the project are able to sustain and grow beyond the life of the project?
  2. Was the requisite operational and technical capacity built within the participatory bodies to continue their activities independently? Why/ why not?

Lessons Learned

  1. What are the key results, case stories and good practices emerging from the project, that can improve the design and implementation of other similar projects in the future?

3. EVALUATION METHODOLOGY

The evaluator will propose the evaluation methodology after thorough review of the relevant documents and existing secondary data. The evaluator is expected to use a mixed methodology (both qualitative and quantitative approaches) to collect primary data from targeted household, communities and stakeholders, ensuring the coverage and representation of different groups.

The evaluator is expected to propose a methodology of implementation for the evaluation in the form of an Inception Report, which is also a key deliverable for this work. This inception report should include a detailed overview of the methodology for the evaluation including a list of key informants, focus groups, targets for quantitative surveys (if relevant) and an inclusive list of questions for all of the above data collection. In addition, the methodology should outline the analysis framework they will employ, including the qualitative data analysis approach.

3.1. Desk Review

The evaluator will undertake a desk review of project materials, including the project documents and proposals, progress reports results of any internal planning process and relevant materials from secondary sources. This includes relevant national strategies and plans.

3.2. Primary Data Collection

As part of the evaluation, the evaluator will interview key project stakeholders (i.e. project staff, local/national representatives, local authorities). The evaluator will use the most suitable format for these interviews as detailed in the inception report and agreed with the ACF team. The evaluator is also expected to collect information directly from beneficiaries, ensuring gender balance and equal representation towards enriching triangulation. This can include, but is not limited to focus group discussions (beneficiaries, non-beneficiaries, key informants) and surveys. A mix of data collection approaches are expected to be applied and proposed by the evaluation.

Should the evaluator seek support from ACF staff for the data collection exercises, from either enumerators, translators, facilitators, etc., this should be indicated in the proposal and detailed in the inception report.

4. DELIVERABLES

4.1. Inception Report

At the end of the desk review period and before initiating the evaluation activities, the evaluator will prepare a brief inception report. The report will be written in English and will include the following sections:

  • The methodological approach to the evaluation should include an evaluation matrix in annex to specify how the evaluator will collect data to answer the evaluation questions, pointing out the limitations to the methodology if any and the choice of sites per field visit;
  • A list of targeted key informants and planned focus group ect for qualitative and quantitative data collection, in line with the proposed methodology
  • Data collection tools to be applied
  • A detailed evaluation work plan

4.2. Evaluation Report

The evaluation report is the main deliverable for this evaluation, shall follow the following format, and be written in English:

  • Cover Page
  • Table of Contents
  • Executive Summary must be a standalone summary, describing the intervention, mainfindings of the evaluation, and conclusions and recommendations. This will be no more than 3-3 pages in length
  • Background Information
  • Methodology describe the methodology used, provide evidence of triangulation of data andpresents limitations to the methodology
  • Findings includes overall assessment of the project against the evaluation criteria, respondsto the evaluation questions, all findings are backed up by evidence, cross-cutting issues are mainstreamed and; unintended and unexpected outcomes are also discussed
  • Conclusions are formulated by synthesizing the main findings into statements ofmerit and worth, judgements are fair, impartial, and consistent with the findings
  • Lessons learnt and Recommendations should be as realistic, operational and pragmatic aspossible; that is, they should take careful account of the circumstances currently prevailing in the context of the action, and of the resources available to implement it both locally. Recommendations should be presented by order of priority and with specificity on who the recommendation is for

The whole report shall not be longer than 30 pages, without annexes. The draft report should be submitted within 45 calendar days of signing the contract. The final report will be submitted no later than the end date of the consultancy contract. Annexes to the report will be accepted in the working language of the country and intervention/country office subject to the evaluation.

5. MANAGEMENT ARRANGEMENTS AND WORKPLAN

The evaluator will directly report to ACF’s Program Quality Manager and Deputy Country Director Programs (based in Amman) and will coordinate directly with this focal point throughout the evaluation. All deliverables should first receive validation from this focal point prior to being considered final.

The focal point from ACF will be responsible to engage any other stakeholders (either internal ACF staff or external project stakeholders as required) in the review of the deliverables, as needed. The focal point will consolidate any comments and send these to the evaluator by date agreed or as soon as the comments are received from stakeholders.

5.1. Tentative Work Plan

The evaluation must be completed prior to 31 May 2023 and is expected to take up to 23 days between April and May 2023. Review and validation of deliverables from ACF is necessary to be considered in the timeline.

Briefing with key ACF Jordan staff

  • Anticipated Level of Effort : 1 day
  • Date of Completion : 13 April, 2023

Desk review, preparation of methodology, field work plan, and Inception Report including data collection tools

  • Anticipated Level of Effort : 5 days
  • Date of Completion : 25 April, 2023

Field work and/or remote data collection, including interviews with field team + field interviews/FGDs with stakeholders, cooperatives, and beneficiaries for the evaluation

  • Anticipated Level of Effort : 8 days
  • Date of Completion : 9 May, 2023

Draft Evaluation Report

  • Anticipated Level of Effort : 5 days
  • Date of Completion : 16 May, 2023

Final evaluation report

  • Anticipated Level of Effort : 4 days
  • Date of Completion : 25 May, 2023

Total days of the evaluation assignment : 23 days

Anticipated number of days are suggested above, but can be adjusted by the proposed evaluator in their technical submission based on their anticipated work plan.

5.2. Profile of the evaluator

National/international evaluation consultant will carry out the evaluation or consulting firm with the following profile:

  • At least 7 years of demonstrated relevant experience in evaluation and research methodologies in the humanitarian and development sector, preferably in the Middle East Region.
  • Strong understanding of the Jordanian context an added advantage. Experience in environmental management, solid waste management, economic empowerment, and other technical areas related to the project etc highly regarded. Significant experience designing and leading evaluations using qualitative and participatory approaches. Experience in coordination, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programs;
  • Demonstrable experience of producing high-quality, credible reports in English
  • Professional fluency in written and spoken English is required. Arabic is considered an added value. If a translator will be required, this should be indicated in the proposal and included as part of the financial offer.
  • Understanding of donor requirements, familiarity with GIZ standards an advantage;

6. SELECTION CRITERIA AND APPLICATION PROCESS

Interested parties are required to submit a technical and financial proposal for the consultancy including the following:

  • Technical Proposal: A cover letter outlining relevant experience and suitability for the consultancy (one page); Individual or team CVs; contact details of at least three references; an outline of the methodology that will be taken for conducting the assignment and timeline (two pages), and at least three samples of previous similar work completed. Bidders should make sure to submit all of the above documents and information as it will be used for the evaluation of their proposals in line with the below criteria. Missing documents or information will affect the evaluation of the bids
  • Financial Proposal: An indicative budget with a breakdown down covering daily rate(s) and any related expenses. The budget should be inclusive of the visa fee, including all travel related costs (international flights, domestic travel, per diem and in-country accommodation) and all costs associated with data collection. Rates should be in JOD and exclusive of VAT.

For evaluation of the consultant, technical qualifications, experience and quality of past work will be weighted at 70%, with the financial proposal weighted at 30% based on the criteria below. An interview will be requested as a part of the technical evaluation, (pass mark 75% and above).

Technical:

  • 25% – At least 7 years of demonstrated relevant experience in evaluation and research methodologies in the humanitarian and development sector. Significant experience designing and leading evaluations using qualitative and participatory approaches.Experience in coordination, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programmes. Strong understanding of the Middle East or Jordanian context an added advantage.
  • 25% – Experience in environmental management, solid waste management, economic empowerment, and other technical areas related to the project etc highly regarded.
  • 25% – Submitted approach of consultant or consulting firm.
  • 15% – Submitted samples of the consultant or consulting firm.
  • 10% – Demonstrable experience of producing high-quality, credible reports in English. Arabic is considered an added value.

7. INTELLECTUAL RIGHTS

The ownership of the draft and final documentation belong to ACF and the project’s donor exclusively. The document, or publication related to it, will not be shared with anybody except ACF, before the delivery by ACF of the final document to the donor.

ACF is to be the main addressees of the consultancy and its results might impact on both operational and strategic decision making of ACF moving forward. This being said, ACF is likely to share the results of the consultancy with the following groups:

  • Donor

All documentation related to the Assignment (whether or not in the course of the consultant’s duties) shall remain the sole and exclusive property of ACF.

8. ANNEXES TO THE TORs

  • Project Logframe

How to apply

Offers submission should be through this email: [email protected]

If applicants have any queries or want to request the Project Logframe, please send them to: [email protected]


Deadline: 29 Mar 2023