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Contracted service

Review of capacity building work carried out by the IPU’s Technical Cooperation and Gender Partnership programmes

1. Intervention background

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), founded in 1889, serves as a platform for dialogue among parliaments around the world. Currently 171 national parliaments are members of the IPU. Through assemblies and specialized meetings the IPU is engaged in a wide range of issues and implements programmes that aim to strengthen parliaments as democratic institutions.

The IPU promotes democratic governance, institutions and values, working with parliaments and parliamentarians to articulate and respond to the needs and aspirations of the people. Based on a comprehensive strategy, the IPU works for peace, democracy, human rights, gender equality, youth empowerment and sustainable development through political dialogue, cooperation and parliamentary action.

At programme level, this means the development of standards, research and tools to support progress and parliaments in their action. It also means the implementation of tailored projects at national and regional level in support of parliaments. The IPU works in partnership and is guided in its work by the Common Principles for Support to Parliaments that have been endorsed by more than 100 parliaments and partners, by the end of 2016.

The IPU’s programme work has received generous support over the years from a core group of bilateral donors which include: Global Affairs Canada, Irish Aid and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The financial support received from Global Affairs Canada and Irish Aid is specifically aimed at the work carried out by the Gender Partnership Programme.

This core group of donors and the IPU hold regular consultations about the IPU’s policies, strategies and work programme, bilaterally and in cooperation with other donors. Several evaluations of the IPU’s programme work, as well as its gender equality work, were performed (in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014).

2. Review Purpose

Within the framework of its agreements with its core group of donors, the IPU committed to funding and conducting evaluation review of its programme work, including a focus on gender equality work.

It is proposed that the current evaluation considers the work carried out both by the Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) and the Gender Partnership Programme (GPP), which receive overall a substantial part of external funds. These two programmes serve to implement the IPU’s first two strategic objectives – namely Objective 1: Build strong, democratic parliaments and Objective 2: Advance gender equality and respect for women’s rights.

The review will focus in particular on the action undertaken by these two programmes to support development in parliamentary institutions for more democratic and gender sensitive parliaments. It will be undertaken to ascertain the effectiveness, impact, efficiency and relevance of the work performed by TCP and GPP in supporting change in parliaments. It will use as reference the criteria set out by the IPU on democratic parliaments and on gender-sensitive parliaments.

The review will also look at how gender is mainstreamed throughout the various TCP projects and how the Common principles for Support to Parliaments are implemented in the work led by both programmes. In addition, the review will seek to determine the adequacy of existing internal mechanisms for delivery of support to parliaments with a view to improving project delivery and strengthening programmes in support of parliaments.

The review will focus on the IPU’s TCP and GPP activities implemented between 2014 and 2016. It will take into account previous evaluations, and evaluate how recommendations have been fed into programme delivery.

The Technical Cooperation Programme assists national parliaments, particularly in developing countries, to improve the organization of their work and strengthen their infrastructure. Under this programme, which was initiated in the early 1970's, the IPU provides advisory services and runs assistance projects. The programme focuses on strengthening the parliamentary institution itself and on providing assistance to parliamentarians and parliamentary staff. It systematically integrates in its work gender and human rights perspectives.

The Gender Partnership Programme is one of the longest running programmes on women in politics and gender equality. Created more than 30 years ago, it has, over the years, produced quantitative and qualitative research on women in politics, supported parliaments in facilitating access of women to parliament through legal and electoral reform, trained women parliamentarians on building their capacity and supported parliaments in strengthening their action to promote gender equality. The Gender partnership programme works for increased and enhanced participation of women in parliaments and for more gender-sensitive parliamentary institutions that deliver on gender equality.

3.The assignment (Issues to be covered in the review)

The Review should focus on examination of the following:

  • Assess how the IPU’s Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) and Gender Partnership Programme (GPP) capacity building work contribute to building stronger democratic parliaments and gender-sensitive parliaments (focusing in particular on facilitating enhanced parliamentary mechanisms, structures and processes)
  • Assess how in its work TCP contributes to mainstreaming gender and to advancing gender equality in parliament;
  • Assess how TCP and GPP contribute to the IPU’s norms and standard setting work;
  • Assess how TCP and GPP apply the Common Principles for Support to Parliaments.

Based on its findings, the review will provide a report containing an overview of the TCP and GPP successes and failures, of how previous assessments have been acted upon, conclusions and recommendations for the IPU’s future work to enhance capacity building work, in particular as carried out by TCP and GPP. The report should also include recommendations for the IPU to improve human rights mainstreaming, the harnessing of ICT tools in the delivery of parliamentary support and overall monitoring and evaluation.

More particularly, the review will focus on the following questions:

Effectiveness and impact

  • How does the IPU define its institutional development work?
  • What results have been achieved and/or what progress has been made in comparison to objectives set by the IPU’s TCP and GPP during the period under review?
  • What is the role, relevance and value of the IPU’s partners in achieving results, and what general risks can be identified?
  • To what extent does the IPU’s TCP and GPP work reflect the objectives set out in the IPU’s Strategy 2012-2017. To what extent are programmes benefitting developing countries and build on peer-to-peer; south/south cooperation? 
  • Do the conditions for achieving long-term impact seem to be in place (e.g. sustainability of, and building on results achieved, national absorptive capacity, ownership at the national level, follow-up activities to facilitate processes)? Which specific indicators, in addition to the examples mentioned above, would be suitable for determining whether the conditions for achieving long-term impact are in place?
  • What tools and methodologies have been developed and are being used to deliver capacity-building projects, and has the use of these tools been effective? Which additional tools and methodologies, if any, would be useful?


  • Did TCP and GPP support projects meet priority needs of member parliaments? To what extent are parliaments as beneficiaries involved in the design of programmes? Did the assistance ensure strong national ownership? Are support activities aligned to the Common principles for support to parliaments?
  • What areas of support has the IPU’s TCP and GPP focused on during the period under review, and has there been any shift in the IPU’s approach? Should the IPU continue with its focus areas or re-define its scope?
  • To what degree is gender mainstreamed in needs assessment processes? Are preliminary gender assessments carried out before projects are designed?


  • What is the source of funding for resources allocated to the IPU’s TCP and GPP work? Are resources adequate? Are resources being used in the most cost-efficient manner? What cost efficiency me
  • Is the staff implementing the IPU’s TCP and GPP programmes sufficient for the scope of the work being delivered?

Programme and project management

  • To what extent is the delivery of support projects underpinned by a strong results-based framework at both the institutional (IPU) and at national levels (e.g. in the national development plans and strategies)?
  • Are existing performance measures adequate to facilitate the measurement of achievement of results? Are gender/human rights mainstreaming indicators sufficient?
  • Have good baselines been established? Are projects increasingly implemented using good practice project management tools (planning, design, monitoring and evaluation) and are results frameworks at the project level adequately linked to organizational goals and expected Results?
  • Are adequate monitoring and evaluation mechanisms being put in place, both at the organizational and country levels, to ensure that: a) information on results achieved is captured; b) information on progress made in the implementation is available; and c) lessons learned are generated for the design of future activities;


  • Are information and communication activities designed to raise awareness of specific or general audiences of the rationale for the IPU support work, as well as the results and the impact of this support?

Additional questions may be added by the review team

4. Methodology

The assignment should include, but not be limited to, the following tasks:

  • Desk review of IPU programme documents, strategy, proposals, narrative and financial reports, and other relevant documents. The evaluators will also build on the results of recent evaluations carried out within the framework of national TCP projects, including the TCP project in Myanmar.
  • Meetings at the IPU office in Geneva.
  • Interview of beneficiaries of key IPU projects both male and female parliamentarians and parliamentary staff and other relevant actors including NGOs, think tanks, multilaterals and academic institutes, other donors/actors involved in strengthening the country’s parliaments and governance.
  • Validation meeting at the IPU for presentation and discussion of draft report.

5. Reporting

It is expected that consultancy will result in the following:

  • A draft report presenting the review in line with the requirements specified in section 3.and the further specifications below in this section by 15 May 2017.
  • Presentations of the main findings, conclusions and recommendations of the review in video-conference meetings with IPU HQ.
  • A final report of the review, which incorporates the comments provided by 15 June.

The draft report should be submitted to the IPU in Geneva. A final report should be presented within two weeks after the receipt of comments from the IPU and others as agreed. The final report shall also be sent electronically to the IPU’s Division for Programmes

The report shall be written in English and should not require additional editing by the IPU. It shall be brief and concise, in principle not more than 30 pages. Additional materials should be presented in annexes and appendices. The report shall contain an executive summary, main findings, conclusions, recommendations and a plan of action.

6. Timeframe

The review should begin by 16 April 2017 and be completed within eight weeks. Further details with regard to the duration and timing of the consultancy will be defined in collaboration with the Consultant(s).

The draft report shall be submitted to the IPU. The final report will be subsequently shared with Global Affairs Canada, Irish Aid and Sida no later than 15 June 2017.

7. Practical issues

The consultant(s) shall be responsible, with assistance from the IPU, for organising meetings with the relevant stakeholders. These will be mainly video- conference/phone exchanges.

8. Required competence

Required competences/experience of the consultant(s) are:

  • documented professional experience in working with organisational reviews, and technical cooperation delivery including field experience;
  • strong experience in work on gender equality and gender mainstreaming and previous work with organisations working on governance, with parliaments and in politics .

Proficiency in English and French is required as desk review documents will be in both languages.

9. Tender requirements

How they intend to implement the assignment and describe the organisation/individuals that shall work on the assignment.

The methods they intend to use to implement the assignment and to guarantee the quality of their work.

The qualifications of each of the persons/sub-consultant(s) they make available for the assignment and attach a CV for each of them.

The levels of knowledge of English/French in speech and writing, of the staff/sub-consultant(s) they intend to allocate to the assignment.

Describe previous experience of similar assignments that have been performed during the last three years and supply at least two references, in the form of names and telephone numbers.

The total cost of the assignment, specified in the form of the daily fee for each personnel category, reimbursable costs, and any other costs. All costs shall be given in Swiss francs (CHF).

Propose a detailed time schedule for the assignment.