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Jul 192017
 

Organization: Caritas France – Secours Catholique
Country: Viet Nam
Closing date: 08 Aug 2017

Terms of reference for an External Evaluation

of the project “*Defending Local Knowledge Based Use-Rights in co-management of Forest and Land”*

PI 150 189 – 2016/2017

1. Introduction:

CENDI is named Community Entrepreneur Development Institute. Although CENDI was newly registered in January 2015, the organization has an extensive background and a deep knowledge in supporting rural ethnic minorities, inherited from its sister and predecessor organizations such as Towards Ethnic Women (TEW), Center for Indigenous Knowledge Research and Development (CIRD) and Center for Human Ecology Studies of Highlands (CHESH) and later merged into Social Policy Ecology Research Institute (SPERI). The origins of CENDI and these institutions date back to the early nineties.

Earlier, in 2013- 2014, SCCF and SPERI, the older sister organization of CENDI, to carry out research among H’re people of Kon Plong district, Kon Tum province in order to learn about their customs and culture, especially with regard to forest land management. This led to the recognition of a high level of self-determination, based on a commitment to spiritual values and customary law, exercised by the H’re people in sustaining their livelihood sovereignty and resisting negative outside interventions. The project led to an awareness of the central importance of local knowledge of H’re people in sharing co-responsibility for nurturing forest and land, resisting adverse interventions, and maintaining livelihood sovereignty.

In March 2015 CENDI developed a one year project on Community Land Rights for lobbying the Watershed Management Board of Bat Xat district, Lao Cai province in order to gain back the forest which originally belonged to the Red Dzao community in Phin Ngan Commune under contract number code PI 140 315.

In the coming ten years 2015-2025, CENDI will consolidate YIELDS-AGREE program[1] in order to initiate local ecological niche product networks between regions and countries. For this, community rights and family land tenure are the key focus for applying successfully the achievement of different Farmer Field Schools where young indigenous farmer farming have been practicing their practical curriculums in land use planning for their own livelihood sovereignty.

This three-year project 2016-2018, CENDI will hand in hand with H’re people in Kon Plong district in order to build up a pilot model for inter-villages cooperation in Co-Management of Forest and Land in securing livelihood sovereignty for indigenous people in the Central Highlands to learn and share. At the same time, CENDI will develop the foundation built by indigenous ethnic minority Key Farmers (1995 to 2005) and coordinators (2005 to 2015) to become Community Entrepreneurs (2015 to 2025). Senior people in indigenous ethnic minority communities will step up to become Community Entrepreneurs in order to lead their communities in standing up and confronting any negative interventions, in order to secure their Livelihood Sovereignty through community co-management of their forest and land.

It is in SCCF policy to evaluate project amounting to 70 000€ with external consultants. Besides, as the original project has been modified several times, an evaluation will help to understand the outcomes compare to the initial plan. The recommendations of the evaluation will help CENDI to elaborate the next phase of its support.

2. Context:

Vietnam understandably has ambitions of becoming more developed nation, interconnected to the global market and are inevitably being affected by the processes of globalization, industrialization and international flows of capital, technology and people.

To make way for further intensification of these development efforts – the legal framework is being reworked to give favor to privatization and extraction of local resources. The presence of more firms and businesses in the areas of Indigenous Ethnic Minorities (IEMs) threatens the maintenance of community structure and traditional practices. Agricultural policies geared towards modernization with hybrid and high-yielding crops and use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides threaten local communities with the loss of local knowledge and know-how and the extinction of local species.

Most development schemes fail to improve the quality of livelihood for marginalized indigenous minorities; there is often the lack of community consultation and participation they create disparity in the social structure. This goes together with an immature view from governments and mainstreams that lack of understanding the values that traditional culture, practices, customary law and local knowledge have to offer.

The political context has a history of centralized planning control in natural resources management. Still today concepts of decentralization and participation in natural resources management are only partly understood and practiced. Participation of peoples especially for indigenous minorities living in rural areas is normally far away from the national decision making process. IEMs have even less political influence because of living in isolated areas, but more importantly as their marginalization by society.

Most often from the institutional framework, the laws and policies have not yet fully recognizing rights of local communities over forest and land. Even though the Land Law (2013) and other bylaws of Vietnam has been taken effective in reality since May 2014, a full recognition towards the rights of IEMs over the traditional forest and land such as spiritual forest, community based land use planning and co-management of forest resources are nonetheless left open.

In practice, priorities that should have directly addressed the needs of poor households and communities in terms of access to forest and land allocation is not satisfactorily tackled or fully addressed. The Law, on one hand, provides priorities towards communities and households; on the other hand, there is no associated/binding sanction against the authorities and or actors whom did not conform. Around 75% of the current forestlands in Vietnam continue to be managed by State Forestry Enterprises, Management Board of Protection Forest, companies and Communal People’s Committees. About 65% of total indigenous ethnic minority households in Vietnam still do not have forestland titles yet (2012 data). By 2014, only 3.75% of total forestland areas (524,477 ha) in Vietnam currently allocate to communities. With the Central Highlands region specifically, only 2.81% of forestland allocated to communities, especially vulnerable minority groups.

Land use and forest management

While the institutional framework of Vietnam largely promotes modernization, mechanical agriculture, and mono-plantations, there lacks of appropriate initiatives to address sustainable land use and forest management through agro-ecology and customary forest land governance. Current extractive industries are increasing their intensity and include mining, forestry, massive hydropower operations, industrial chemical agriculture and contracting of land for cash crops and plantations. This have caused in large devastated areas of the rich biodiversity and cultural heritage and affecting millions of indigenous minorities in upland areas. For instance total area of land desertification in Vietnam is about 9.3 million hectares.

The situation of natural forest converting into rubber plantations in upland areas where indigenous ethnic minorities reside currently gets quickly increased. The very recent case study-based from LISO 2014 found that ‘the area under rubber cultivation in Vietnam has increased rapidly from 395,000 ha in 1999 to 550,000 ha in 2007. The previous national target of 500,000 ha by 2020 was met long before date. Consequently, the latest rubber development strategy, approved by the Prime Minister in 2009, set a new target of 800,000 ha of rubber plantations by 2020. Even this new target has already been overrun. By the end of 2012, rubber plantations covered 915,000 ha, and are continuously expanding’.

Since 2009, Vietnam has launched pilot projects under the United Nations Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Land Degradation (REDD+) program and Payment of Forest Environment Service (PES) in accordance with Decree 99/2010/NĐ-CP. After 3 year of implementation, Funds for Forest Protection and Development have been set up in 36 provinces with the total amount of 3,329 billion VND from PES. However, most of indigenous ethnic minority families and communities have yet to receive any money from these funds (Vietnam forest and protection fund, MARD, 2014). State forestry enterprises, forestry companies and administrative agencies have become the biggest beneficiaries of this policy as they are owners of approximately 50% of protection and special-use forests with the highest quality and volume.

Rural community development

Currently, the Vietnamese government is implementing the huge national program on new rural development targeted until 2020 (Decision No.800/QD-TTg, 2010). Accordingly, during this period 50% of communes across the country will reach 19 new rural criteria. However, these criteria are criticized as they too much focus on planning and infrastructures for production of commercial agriculture, industry and services and that fully ignore investments in human development, social welfare, community services and resources.

There are also many programs offering access to credits to farmers; however actually poor farmers have very few opportunities to access. The paradox is that although the indigenous ethnic minorities live in the richest forest areas, they are over-represented in the poorest groups in the society, given they have no access to the forest at their doorsteps. At national level, poverty rate for indigenous minorities remains 59% nation-wide (CEMA, 2014). About 86.21% of indigenous ethnic minority people have not yet given trainings in any kinds of trainings (CEMA, 2014).

3. Summary of the program:

The program was prepared for three years (2016-2018), but in fact the implementation lasted 2 years. CENDI has asked 2 budget revisions:

  • the revision of 2016 to increase the funds allocated to administrative and HR costs,

  • the revision of 2017 to increase the funds allocated to the yearly budget and to modify the activities. In Fact, as all the objectives of project PI 150189 have been achieved by December 31st, 2016 (1st year of the project), CENDI has asked SCCF to develop new activities for 2017 in the same target area (i.e Po E commune). These new activities are focusing on livelihood for villagers by giving trainings and exposures on forest restoration, forest mapping, nursery, organic fertilizer, agro-ecological farming and savings.

General Objective: To secure livelihood of indigenous ethnic minorities in upland Vietnam.

Specific objective 1: To strengthen self-determination of local communities through securing use-rights over land and forests especially sacred forest, and facilitating co-management with authorities and stakeholders.

Expected Result 1: 3 Hre villages (240 households) in Po E commune obtain community title for 300 hectares of land and forests, especially sacred forest.

  • Lobby local authorities and functional offices for agreement on implementation of land allocation
  • Conduct field studies on current land uses, forest governance, review relevant policies relating to community forestland title
  • Conduct community participatory surveys on current land use planning, resources uses, classifying types of forest, land borders; measuring land and forest areas; identifying and solving forestland conflicts / overlapping.
  • Conduct forestland use planning based on customary law, local knowledge and landscape settings.
  • Hand over allocated forestland and titles to communities
  • Lobby forestland rights through documentation and publication
  • Produce documentary movies on community sacred forests and co-management

Expected Result 2: 4 villages (312 households) including 3 newly targeted villages, obtain the rights to co-manage forestland

  • Conduct in-depth researches on customary ownership regime, forestland governance and land conflict resolutions of communities
  • Facilitate local communities to set up customary law based regulations in co-managing forest and land use
  • Lobby local authorities to certify approval of customary law based regulations and co-management
  • Workshop with local representatives about institutional framework on forest and land
  • Informing related stakeholders about customary law based regulations and co-management
  • Set up forest management teams amongst stakeholders for co-management
  • Organize regional workshop on sacred forests and co-management

Expected Result 3: Community forest rights, especially sacred forest and co-management are enhanced through strengthening of grassroots organization, authorities and institutions

  • Raise awareness through brochures, leaflets, posters, website, internal quarterly magazine
  • Organize practical training on forestland use planning, monitoring and assessment for villagers
  • Practical training for communities and technicians on using GPS and other tools
  • Organize internal trainings for CENDI junior staff on community based forest land allocation and co-management (in combination with community and local officials)
  • Organize external training for CENDI staff on project monitoring and evaluation, financial management and budget planning
  • Attend workshops and networks at all levels on related themes

4. Objectives of the evaluation:

This evaluation is organized to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of CENDI program “*Defending Local Knowledge Based Use-Rights in co-management of Forest and Land*”.

a) To evaluate the program relevance toward beneficiaries’ needs and local context,

b) To understand CENDI’s strategy and capacity in term of programming, monitoring,

c) To measure the program’s impact.

The evaluation should analyze CENDI IPs program in light of the 5 below criteria:

1) Relevance:

  • Is the selection of target villages relevant according to the context?

  • Are the actions developed in the above mentioned program answering the needs of the beneficiaries (here the IPs of Po E Commune)? Are beneficiaries identifying other needs?

  • Are the activities adapted to the IPs context in Vietnam/Mekong region?

  • Is the methodology used by CENDI relevant according to the context?

2) Effectiveness:

  • Does the program reach all its objectives? Were some activities neglected? If yes why?

  • Are the results coherent with the initial objectives? How can the rapid progress of the project be explained (the activities were finalized within 1 year instead of 3).

  • Is the program management system operational, sufficient and result oriented?

  • Is the monitoring, planning, reporting system effective?

3) Efficiency:

  • Does the program reaches its expected result with sound ratio achievements/costs, as compared to other actors on the “market”?

  • Does the program use all possible synergies and cost reduction strategies?

  • Is there synergies with other programs from other NGOs, public services or International Organizations?

4) Impact

  • What has been the impact of the activities on the communities?

  • Is CENDI’s work with IPs known and recognized among the different stakeholders (notably IPs and other NGOs)?

  • Is CENDI able to measure the impact of its work? How could it be reinforced?

5) Sustainability:

  • What were/are the strengths of CENDI and its program in term of sustainability? What are the weaknesses/threats?

  • How to develop the program learning capacity and adaptability?

The evaluator can add any criteria he/she may find useful.

5. Methodology:

  • The consultant will review the existing project documents (contracts, reports, studies, data, previous evaluations …),

  • The consultant will assess the program components,

  • The consultant will meet with CENDI staffs, with the director, deputy director, coordinator, researcher, field officer and with other relevant responsible persons,

  • The consultant will meet with beneficiaries: IP communities, local authorities,…

  • The consultant will meet at least 3 other NGOs working on IPs in Vietnam,

  • The consultant will meet with some Institutional/governmental stakeholders,

  • The consultant will conduct focus group discussions /interviews with stakeholders,

  • Others…

6. Qualifications of the consultant:

  • Significant experience of consultancies with NGOs,

  • Significant experience in rural development and land rights programs, and knowledge about Indigenous People,

  • Knowledge of the country, of Vietnamese language and possibly of the local language (if not an independent translator/consultant should be found),

  • Advanced written and spoken English,

  • Ability to summarize and to write clear, useful reports,

  • Independence,

  • Knowledge of donor’s requirements.

7. Time frame:

The suggested duration of the evaluation is 12 days.

  • Validation of TOR: July 17th, 2017

  • Recruitment of the evaluator: August 8th, 2017

  • Evaluation: September 2017

  • Feedback session with CENDI:

  • Draft report sent to SCCF and CENDI:

  • CENDI’s feedback/answers on the evaluation report:

  • Feedback session with SCCF:

  • Final report sent to SCCF and CENDI:

8. Deliverables:

  • A 30 pages evaluation report (maximum) with a critical analysis of the program and recommendations for a next phase. The document will also include a description of the methodology, interviews and data collection.

9. Budget:

The budget should include honorariums only.

The mission fees will be reimbursed by SCCF upon receipts of all invoices.

[1] Young Indigenous Ethnic Leadership Directive Strategy – Agro-ecology Enterprise

How to apply:

The answers to those TOR should include a methodological, technical and financial proposal and a CV of the expert(s). *It should be sent by email before August 8th 2017 to: missioncourteduree@secours-catholique.org*

click here for more details and apply to position

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