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MEAL Consultancy for a Systems Review

Blog
July 1, 2024
July 1, 2024

Talk to Loop is embarking on a review of our MEALS systems, can you help us?

Reminder: Applications will only be reviewed if they include a CV, a proposed methodology, and contact details of two references.

1. Background

Talk to Loop is a platform dedicated to ensuring accountability and amplifying the voices of individuals and communities by providing a safe space for feedback, complaints, and suggestions. Our mission is to bridge the digital divide by actively listening to all community members, regardless of their internet access. Loop operates on a transnational and multi-lingual basis, fostering an inclusive environment for diverse contexts and communities. Our sensitive feedback system is designed to be survivor-centred, ensuring secure assistance and appropriate referral pathways for reports. Additionally, Loop's comprehensive statistical analysis supports decision-makers in identifying trends, making informed adjustments, and allocating funding more effectively.

Loop works through a network of local organisations who see the value that our platform can bring to their context long-term. Loop aims to reach people where they are, on a device that they already own or can easily access. Loop helps organisations to cross the digital divide. Our Interactive Voice Response and Reply (IVRR) technology makes it easy for anybody, regardless of their literacy, to raise their voices and inform decision-making.

To enhance Loop’s Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning (MEAL) strategy, we are seeking a consultant with expertise to assess the platform’s operations in the accountability area.

2. Overall objective of MEAL in Loop

The objective of MEAL at Loop is to:

  • Establish, through rigorous data analysis (qualitative and quantitative), if feedback has an impact on the person feeding back and/or their community.
  • Establish what has the biggest impact, to whom, and how can Loop work to build on that further.
  • Have a structure to analyse platformance data in real time to make decisions and design improvements to hear from more people and to increase the likelihood of a positive impact for them.
  • Harness trends and data that is useful to improve the efficacy of Aid and the Agency of individuals affected by crisis.

3. Objective of this Consultancy

The objective of this consultancy is to review our existing Theory of Change, our existing Monitoring Framework, the available platform and website data, to:

A. Design a monitoring framework to ensure the right people see the relevant data in an actionable format, so as to inform:

  • Decision making
  • Report writing
  • Performance measurement 
  • Design tweaks and improvements etc.

B. Build a MEAL system that will generate a robust, independent evidence base about the impact of the platform (or not) and feedback and reporting at a systems level. This evidence based needs to:

  • Help Loop to apply for funding to Scale from donors such as FID, GIF, DIV, etc.
  • Bolster Loop's advocacy and fundraising initiatives through compelling data-driven narratives and applications. 
  • Contribute to broader research and understanding in the Accountability to Affected People and Protection of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse areas.

C. Ensure the design includes methodologies that are not extractive, that put communities voices and experience at the centre, that is respectful of diverse cultures and experiences, local traditions and ways of being rather than a western centric view.

At the end of the consultancy we hope to have a robust system to gather and analyse relevant data points and information across different countries to easily inform platform improvements, donor reporting, trends and impact.

4. Methodology

The consultant is expected to engage with the existing people involved (staff and consultants), and to review the existing data and approaches. They should draw on sector wide and culturally diverse techniques and tools.

5. Scope of Work

The consultant will be responsible for the following tasks:

A. Data Collection:

  • Conduct a comprehensive review of Loop’s existing MEAL systems, available data and processes and identify gaps and recommendations for improvement. This review is expected to include practical recommendations to enhance Loop’s Learning environment.
  • Review Loop’s platform and suggest improvements to align the data collection with the MEAL processes.
  • Understand different Loop team members' wishes about the expected use of the resulting data.
  • Review other methodologies which put communities at the centre and are relevant and respectful of different cultures, with an aim of ensuring that community voice is at the centre of the proposed approach(es).

B. Strategy and tools development

  • Develop a comprehensive, global MEAL framework tailored to Loop's operations and objectives, which includes a road map for the production of surveys, impact assessments, and case studies.some text
    • Finalise Loop’s Theory of Change
    • Strengthen/design indicators to ensure that they will contribute to output, outcome and impact level and are based on sector standards
    • Provide suggestions for appropriate methodologies to evaluate the Loop tool/intervention
  • Support the development of a MEAL system based on the MEAL framework to deliver the relevant data points, use it and share it with appropriate actors to ensure actionable outputs.
    • Review existing data sources and suggest new data sources for measurement

6. Deliverables

The consultant is expected to deliver the following:

  • Assessment Report: Including findings from the initial assessment and analysis. Comparative examples and a proposed outline of the resulting framework
  • MEAL Framework and System Documents: Develop a comprehensive framework and system detailing methodologies, tools, and processes. This will need to be tested and reviewed by relevant stakeholders including the Technology Lead, the UX and QA Lead, the Fundraising and Communications lead etc. This could be delivered through a half day online workshop with the whole Loop team.
  • Loop platform improvements: suggested improvements to Loop’s platform as a tool for ongoing monitoring and reporting, including support and suggestions on how to improve the Statistics pages
  • Final Report: Summarising the final framework which is robust and clear for external stakeholders to understand (consultants, donors, specialists etc.)

7. Duration and Timeline

The consultancy is expected to last for a period of one month, and to be delivered by the end of September 2024. Key milestones and deadlines will be agreed upon during the inception phase.

8. Qualifications and Experience

The ideal consultant should possess the following qualifications and experience:

  • Advanced degree in social sciences, development studies, monitoring and evaluation, or a related field.
  • Proven experience in designing and implementing strategic MEAL systems and frameworks.
  • Strong analytical and assessment skills.
  • Excellent communication and report-writing skills.
  • Familiarity with the humanitarian and development sector, particularly in accountability mechanisms.
  • Leading in the field of indigenous and decolonised approaches.
  • Deep experience in leading research and approaches that centre the voices and experiences of communities in the process and results.

9. Reporting and Supervision

The consultant will report to Mai Muhsen, the Loop User Experience and Quality Assurance Lead, who will provide overall supervision and guidance. Regular check-in meetings will be scheduled to ensure the consultancy is on track and to address any issues that may arise.

10. Application Process

Interested candidates should submit the following documents:

  • A CV highlighting relevant experience (a cover letter is not required)
  • A proposed methodology, work plan, timeline, team members, and budget.
  • Contact details of at least two references.

11. Budget and Payment

The consultant will be paid in 2 instalments, one with 30% at the outset and the final payment upon satisfactory completion of all key deliverables as outlined in the work plan.

12. Confidentiality

All materials and information provided during the consultancy are confidential and the intellectual property of Talk to Loop. The consultant(s) will be asked to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement and agree to not disclose any information to third parties without prior written consent from Talk to Loop.

If you're passionate about making a meaningful impact and amplifying the voices of communities worldwide, we invite you to join us. Together, we can reimagine accountability, build trust, and create positive change that benefits everyone.

To apply, complete this application form.

You can visit our resource page to get all the information you need to understand the work we do at Talk to Loop.

We promise to get back to you within 2 weeks, whether your application is successful or not.

If you have any questions or requests you can contact us at maria@talktoloop.org.

Recruitment for this role is ongoing, and we will close recruitment once we have found the right candidate.

Roles are dependent on donor funding, and employment will be subject to the continuation of such funding.

We highly encourage applications from diverse backgrounds, including individuals from the Majority World and women. Their unique experiences and perspectives are invaluable to our mission of shifting power and promoting the voices of the most at risk.

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