Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is an International non-governmental organization supporting relief and development work in over 100 countries around the world. CRS programs assist persons on the basis of need, regardless of creed, ethnicity or nationality. CRS works through local church and non-church partners to implement its programs, therefore, strengthening and building the capacity of these partner organizations is fundamental to programs in every country in which CRS operates. CRS re-established presence in Nigeria in 2000 and currently focuses on vulnerable children, agriculture, health and HIV, extractives and governance, and peace building programming.
Short Term Consultancy for Evaluative Assessment of CRS Nigeria SILC Programming
Terms of Reference
- This Terms of Reference (TOR) provides the description and work to be done to document CRS Nigeria’s Evaluative Assessment of CRS Nigeria SILC Programming.
- The Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC) Private Service Providers (SILC PSP) model is a CRS’ methodology for developing sustainable local savings and lending schemes. Under this approach, CRS identifies entrepreneurial individuals and enrols them into an intensive training program on the SILC model. After successful completion of the training, these individuals are tested to determine if they have acquired the requisite skills to offer SILC support services to communities for a fee. Individuals that pass the test are certified as Private Service Providers (PSP). PSPs support community members to form and manage savings and lending groups. SILC groups pay the PSPs a reasonable fee for their services. PSPs’ provide services such as support for group functioning (including bookkeeping) and recovery of loans in addition to continuous mobilization to create new groups.
- This PSP approach redefines sustainability by allowing market forces to take over from subsidies, moving from free to fee, to empower the poor to take charge of their own development. SILC groups are a key entry point for programming in agriculture and livelihoods, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), nutrition and health. CRS uses SILC to reinforce project strategies and approaches. SILC enhances social cohesion and enables families to strengthen their assets base.
- An evaluation by Microsave determined that CRS’ SILC approach increases social cohesion which helps to address conflicts within communities and savings groups. SILC enables members to make friends, share problems, devise coping mechanisms and create new relationships. CRS deploys SILC in most of its developmental programming in Nigeria. For instance, the USAID-funded FTF-NLP established 215 SILC groups in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States. As of 2018, CRS has over 131,000 active SILC groups in 48 countries. The SILC PSP model is illustrated below:
- To assess the relevancy, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of the CRS’ SILC PSP model in Nigeria and make recommendations for further improvements.
- Evaluate CRS Nigeria SILC programming and highlight differences in outcomes, impact and sustainability in different geographical, socio-cultural and economic settings by comparing SILC programming in the Northwest against programming in the Northeast. In particular, CRS would like to understand how SILC PSP implementation and sustainability differs in the Northeast (emergency / recovery setting) from the Northwest (developmental setting). The evaluation should be aligned to at least four principles as detailed below:
- Effectiveness: Assess the extent to which CRS SILC PSP has been effective in comparison to other similar models. The consultant is expected to draw a dichotomy between effectiveness of SILC PSP in secure localities (e.g. the Northwest States of Kebbi and Sokoto) and insecure / recovery settings (e.g. the BAY States of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe). The consultant is reminded of CRS’ intentions for SILC PSP model particularly the self-sustaining element and the PSP fee-for-service approach. CRS defines sustainability of SILC groups as follows: Groups continue to operate; PSPs continue to form new groups; and, PSP Networks maintain the level of trainers through apprenticeship. It is important that the consultant notes that payments from SILC groups to PSPs is only means to motivate PSPs, not an obligatory requirement. As long as PSPs are motivated to work and SILC groups are functional, PSPs payments are not mandatory. Whilst the consultant is encouraged to report on proportion of paying groups, s/he needs to assess all groups including those that do not pay but continue to operate.
- Efficiency: Assess efficiency of the CRS SILC PSP model as regards cost, effort and time. We would like to understand how much CRS uses to set up SILC groups (as compared to other models), the specific elements of this cost and the time to maturity (from mobilization to handover of SILC groups to PSPs). We would similarly like to contrast the cost, effort and time of setting up SILC groups in the Northwest and the Northeast.
- Relevancy: Evaluate the materiality of SILC to economic empowerment of the rural poor – especially women; assess SILC’s influence on social cohesion; and, SILC’s contribution to other programming in agriculture and livelihoods, WASH, nutrition and health. CRS uses SILC to improve economic empowerment particularly of women. We also use SILC to build social capital and increase social cohesion. CRS at times uses SILC as an entry point for other programming e.g. as soft conditionality to uptake of positive agriculture, health, hygiene and nutrition practices and / or adopting new livelihood approaches.
- Sustainability: Assess the extent to which SILC benefits are sustainable beyond the completion of the project that establishes them. See our definition of sustainability above. We are keen to understand the number of SILC groups that CRS has established in Nigeria and the proportion of these groups that remain active at least one year after the closure of the project that established them. We are also keen to understand the rate of member exit and replacement within SILC groups that continue to operate. We are similarly keen to draw out elements that increase sustainability. We would also like to understand how sustainability differs in the Northeast as compared to the Northwest.
- Assess and make recommendations on capacity (technical, operational and financial) to implement SILC programming within CRS Nigeria.
- Make recommendations on how CRS can expand its SILC programming within Nigeria using the available resources / funding opportunities.
Approach and Method:
- Desk research complemented by field studies in the Northeast and the Northwest. Field research must include interviews with key persons from government agencies and NGOs. Field studies must also include interviews with PSPs and members of SILC groups. Similarly, field research must include focused group discussions (FGDs) with SILC groups. This consultancy will be carried out in Abuja, the Northwest (any Feed the Future project States) and the Northeast States.
- Within CRS, the consultant is expected to understand how SILC is incorporated and implemented in our emergency, agriculture and livelihoods and health programs. The consultant will be expected to interview past and current project managers (including Chiefs of Party and Project Directors), proposal design team members and technical specialists. The consultant is also expected to understand the value and commitment that CRS Nigeria places on SILC by interviewing members of the Leadership Team.
- Within the non-profits, the consultant is expected to understand and articulate how other NGOs implement village savings and lending schemes within Nigeria. The consultant is similarly expected to understand and articulate the federal (national) and state governments’ savings and lending schemes regulatory frameworks.
Schedule of Deliverables:
- A consultancy report with a concise executive summary. The consultant is encouraged to annex supplementary information to the report.
- A debrief meeting at the CRS Abuja offices where the consultancy will be expected to present his / her findings and recommendations.
- A summary report not exceeding two pages for internal and external dissemination.
- An advanced degree in Economics, Micro-finance or related field.
- In-depth knowledge of village savings and lending methodologies.
- Familiarity with Nigeria’s banking and financial institutions and policies – particularly as pertaining to micro-finance.
- An understanding of development challenges and opportunities in rural Nigeria.
- Demonstrable knowledge of financing products for the rural poor from the public purse, non-profits and the private sector.
- Familiarity with Nigeria in general; the Northwest and the North East States in particular.
- An understanding of institutional donors’ approaches and policies regarding micro-finance and financing for the rural poor.
- Ability to carry out research and synthesize findings into white papers.
- Knowledge of English knowledge and excellent writing skills are mandatory.
- Capacity to self-manage, work independently and remotely and deliver on time.
Time and Level of Effort:
- This consultancy shall not exceed 21 days. The division of tasks within the 21 days will be proposed by the consultancy and evaluated by CRS.
- CRS will pay a consultancy fee based upon a mutually agreeable daily consultancy rate. Logistics for field trips will be arranged separately. CRS will reimburse operational and logistical costs if they are identified and approved by the Consultancy Manager in advance.
- Please note that CRS will deduct and remit to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) a 5% withholding Tax from the total consultancy fees in accordance with the Nigerian Tax Law.
Equal Employer Opportunity:
- “CRS is an equal –opportunity employer, does not discriminate based on race, colour, religion and we are committed to gender sensitive programming and management’. etc.
- Qualified women are strongly encouraged to apply”
- By applying to this job, I understand and acknowledge that CRS requires its staff to treat all people with dignity and respect and to actively prevent harassment, abuse, exploitation, and human trafficking. Further, I understand that if I am a successful candidate, I will be subject to a comprehensive background check, and my personal/professional references will be asked to evaluate my behaviours related to the above safeguarding-related topics.
Statement of Commitment to Protection:
- ‘’CRS’ recruitment and selection procedures reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation’’
Interested and qualified candidates should send their Expression of Interest (EOI) along with a detailed resume attached as one document in PDF indicating the title of the consultancy and the consultancy code – SIL91319 to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Only applicants who send in the required format will be considered and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
Method of Application
Use the email(s) below to apply.
- SILC Consultant - email@example.com