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Consultancy opportunity: Mid-term evaluation of the Act Together for Inclusion Fund

Request for Proposals (RFP) 

RFP Issue Date : February 16, 2024

Closing date for application: March 10, 2024, 23h59 EST

Estimate start of mandate: March 22, 2024

End of mandate: November 1st, 2024

Location : Remote, with field work in Zambia, Cameroun (preferably between June and August 2024).

Anticipated level of effort : 50-70 days

Background information on Equitas & DNC

Equitas – International Centre for Human Rights Education
is recognized as a global leader with over 50 years’ experience in the design, delivery and evaluation of effective human rights education programs that advance equality, social justice and respect for human dignity in Canada and around the world. Equitas’ programming contributes to the empowerment of individuals and groups that are subject to discrimination, exclusion and other forms of human rights violations to challenge inequality and discrimination and take action to respect, protect and defend human rights.

Dignity Network Canada is a network of civil society organizations across Canada involved in supporting the human rights of people regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) globally. DNC believes that Canada and Canadians play a role in the world in supporting movements involved in advancing the human rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Two-Spirit and Intersex (LGBTQ2I) people. Our vision is a world where LGBTQ2I people everywhere enjoy full human rights and socio-economic well-being.


Description of the intervention being evaluated

The Act Together for Inclusion Fund is a $16.7M multi-stakeholder fund managed by the non-governmental organization Equitas, in partnership with the LGBTQ2I[1] network organization, Dignity Network Canada (DNC). It is funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and is a key part of the Government of Canada’s mandate to uphold LGBTQ2I rights internationally. The ACTIF is funded through one of three complementary funding windows supported by GAC. Each makes part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to provide $30 million of targeted funding over five years in support of LGBTQ2I human rights outcomes and, following this, $10 million per year of further targeted funding.

This project is an outcome of significant efforts made by Canadian civil society, coordinated by Dignity Network Canada (DNC), to advocate for greater Canadian support for advancing the human rights of LGBTQ2I people internationally. The launch of the Act Together for Inclusion Fund (ACTIF) marked a highly anticipated and historic moment for Canadian funding for international LGBTQ2I initiatives.

ACTIF aims to enhance the respect, protection, and fulfillment of the human rights of LGBTQ2I persons in countries eligible for official development assistance (ODA). Delivered over seven years, the Fund will support, through its main component ($9.7M), an estimated 20 – 25 multi-year projects ranging in value from $100,000 to $500,000 implemented through 12 – 15 Canadian intermediaries. A complementary small fund ($0.6M) for strategic, short-term initiatives will take advantage of emerging opportunities to advance the human rights of LGBTQ2I persons. ACTIF will support projects managed by Canadian intermediaries and designed with their partners in the Global South. This innovative model will strengthen a network of Canadian LGBTQ2I organizations and build solidarity with local LGBTQ2I CSOs with additional, or previously inaccessible, opportunities to implement programming in the Global South.

[1] Limitations exist in using the terms lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, two-spirit and intersex. There is a spectrum of gender identity and sexual diversity both in Canada and around the world and there are many other words in various languages to describe this diversity, reflecting the culturally and historically-specific ways in which sexual and gender identities are recognized and expressed. For example, in Canada, the term “two-spirit” is used by and within Indigenous communities, reflecting the history among some peoples of describing those who differed from gender norms and crossed gender boundaries as carrying both male and female spirits.


Rationale, purpose and specific objectives of the evaluation

Rationale and purpose of the evaluation

The purpose of this evaluation is to provide an independent assessment of the achievement of, or progress toward, the immediate and intermediate outcomes at the midpoint of the project’s completion, to provide relevant findings, lessons learned, and recommendations that would help Equitas and its partners guide and improve current and future funded projects. This evaluation should also support recommendations for the design of the future iteration of the Canadian window of the International Assistance Policy IAP (post 2027). Finally, in order to do so, this evaluation should provide enough contextual information to assess the model in which ACTIF is being implemented, including the initial assumptions that were part of the design of the ACTIF project.

The evaluation is hybrid in nature, combining approaches and looking both at formative and summative aspects of the project. The results of this evaluation will be used to:

  1. Inform Equitas and DNC, their Canadian and international partners, Global Affairs Canada and other key stakeholders about contributions of key program components to expected outcomes of the intervention.
  2. Inform decision-making regarding future fund model, management and implementation.
  • Assess the validity of ACTIF’s programmatic Theory of Change.

The primary intended users of the evaluation are:

  • Equitas, DNC and its implementing partners in Canada and internationally.

The primary intended audience of the evaluation are:

  • Equitas’ partners, including human rights educators, alumni and supporters.
  • DNC membership;
  • Global Affairs Canada, and other potential donors.

Specific objectives of the evaluation

The main objective of this evaluation is to provide Equitas, DNC and its primary donor, Global Affairs Canada, with an assessment of the program, its design, implementation and results. The aim is to determine the relevance and capacity to fulfill the expected outcomes, effectiveness and sustainability of the project.

The evaluation should provide information that is evidence-based, credible and useful, enabling the incorporation of lessons learned into the future decision-making processes of Equitas, DNC and their partners.

The specific objectives of the evaluation are the following:

  • Assess the extent to which the project is reaching planned outcomes regarding LGBTQ2I rights in Canada and internationally;
  • Provide findings, lessons learned, conclusions and recommendations to strengthen Equitas and DNC’ work as funders and to inform Equitas and DNC’s current and future programming on advancing LGBTQ2I rights.

Scope of the evaluation

The evaluation is a mid-term evaluation. It covers the fund model – the administrative grant making partner (Equitas) and the community engagement and learning partner (DNC). It covers the projects funded by ACTIF – the impact on the Canadian partners as well as the Global South/East partners.

It will cover field work for 2 projects conducted in two countries (Cameroun and Zambia) that have taken place since the beginning of the project (Fall 2021) until the time of the evaluation. This will be done through site visits by the evaluation team to Cameroun and Zambia. For the other countries, the evaluation, with a possible lesser scope, will be conducted through in-person meetings (DNC Roundtable May 2024) and online activities.

Equitas encourages bidders to further refine the evaluation scope, evaluation questions and methodology.


Estimated budget and other financial considerations

Our total budget for this mandate is 45,500$, exclusive of all applicable taxes and fees. We estimate that the level of effort to be between 50 to 70 days.


Application process

All bidders must submit the following documents as part of their proposal:

  • Letter of Interest, including confirmation of availability in the timeframe indicated, and highlighting how the consultant/team meets the required expertise and qualifications listed.
  • Full proposal showing fulfilment of the requirements listed in this Terms of Reference.
  • Total consultancy fees (excluding international flights, in-country transportation, accommodation and meals).
  • CV for each of the evaluation team members, including portfolio of previous work relevant to this mandate.
  • Two samples of past evaluation reports.
  • At least two recent and relevant references for similar mandates.
  • The proposal can be submitted in French or in English, but should demonstrate how they will operate in a bilingual context and with partners who speak only one or the other language.

Bidders should submit their complete application for this consultancy to the Equitas ACTIF team at (actif-agiri@equitas.org) with “Mid-term evaluation of Equitas’ ACTIF program” in the subject line.

Deadline for proposals: March 10, 2024, 23h59 EST.

Incomplete proposals will not be considered. Equitas will contact only shortlisted candidates.


Consult full Terms of Reference here