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Annex A Terms of Reference

Joint donor evaluation of Civil Society Engagement in Policy Dialogue DRAFT ToR for Country Case Study Bangladesh

1.1 Objective

The purpose of the case studies is to provide an in-depth analysis of how CSOs engage in policy dialogue, what outcomes they have achieved and what factors have contributed to them.

1.2 Scope

The main focus of the evaluation is the effectiveness of CSOs in policy dialogue. More specifically, the evaluation focuses on three key issues:

  • CSO effectiveness: What are the ways in which CSO engagement in (country) policy dialogue is most effective – and what does this mean for how this can be facilitated in the future?[42]
  • Enabling and disabling conditions: What are the enablers and barriers to CSO engagement (at country level) – and how could they be addressed?
  • DP policies and strategies: How can DPs most effectively support and facilitate (directly and indirectly) increased civil society engagement at country level?

Based on the identification of a long-list of policy processes and discussions during the Scoping Exercise in Bangladesh, four policy processes have been selected by the Evaluation Management Group for the case study:

1.3 Sources of information and approach

Local Governance Education Minority Rights Food Security (mini case study)
a) Stakeholder to be consulted

- CSOs
See detailed table included in inception report See detailed table included in inception report See detailed table included in inception report ActionAid International
- others Responsible agency for the current government Digital Bangladesh initiative which seeks ,among other things, to engage citizens online

Local Government Division.
Ministry of Education, PEDP 3

Workshop with constituents such as teachers associations and parent teacher associations
National Human Rights Commission World Food Programme


Ministry of Food and Disaster management

International Food Policy research Institute
b) Other sources of information Local Government directives and recent amendments to Local Government Act

Donor programme documents

Documentation of best practice

Minutes and reports of local government professional associations

Media reports
Government policy documents

Government programme documents and Five-year plan

Donor programme documents

Donor sector policy documents

Donor background research reports

Shadow policy produced by CSOs

Position papers presented by CSOs

Results of informal networking

Public interest litigation

Reports of Round Tables, workshops, consultations

Case studies prepared by CSOs or donors

Research reports by bodies such as the Education Watch, universities, research

Newspaper reports

Position paper prepared by CSOs

Reports of workshops, round tables, consultations

Constitution of Bangladesh and Chittagong Hill Tract Peace Accord

Media coverage

Limited CSO involvement – position papers
c) Cross checking Plan to get views of local level civil society and test out some descriptions of processes by ’participant observation ’e.g. joining watchdog committees, school management committees, Union Parishad standing committees etc in action preferably through our own initiatives and not facilitated by concerned CSOs

Feedback on findings at the end of the case study period with those involved in the scoping study. The team suggests using Skype to engage small groups and avoid the traffic issues. This may also allow to include people who are outside of Bangladesh as key people are often travelling outside Dhaka/abroad

There will be some of findings on cross checking of enabling and disabling conditions by the fact that the team is looking at three different policy dialogue/influencing issues and a diverse range of CSOs and CS action beyond the usual suspects
d) Practicalities: how this can be done within the available time and resource Labour division: All Bangladesh team members are highly familiar with the context and the specific policy areas. All have their networks of contacts on the themes and feel fairly confident that this could work. They also have knowledge of each other’s themes which can provide useful insights. We all have experience across these areas and can provide important links and insights

The plan is that each team member takes one policy area. Thomas takes minority rights (with a particular focus on land issues), Maheen takes primary education (with particular focus on the education policy 2010 and the Primary Education SWAp (2011) and Dee takes LG (with a particular focus on the adoption of participatory process in LG which has now been enshrined in recent government ordinances as well as the increasing opportunities for LG to influence policy and practice through their own professional associations as part of CS)

Food security will be treated as a mini case study as it is both hugely important and yet, curiously, appears to have little CSO involvement in policy dialogue. CSOs are active in service delivery but rarely in advocacy. We want to ask why? Maheen, Thomas and Dee will put our combined efforts into trying to understand this

1.4 Activities and responsibilities

The process for the case studies includes the following activities:

  • Preparation and document review; (document findings on results in template provided)
  • Select key stakeholders and informants to be interviewed
  • Individual interviews – based on Evaluation Framework, interview guidelines and reporting matrices
  • Field visits which will include local level FGD, process analysis
  • Verification workshops with CSOs involved in the selected policy processes
  • Team reflections and analysis
  • Debriefing with involved DPs

The division of tasks and responsibilities within the team will be as follows:

Team leader (Dee) Overall responsibility for the study including i. study management, ii. liaising with DPs iii leading the analysis and iv. report completion

Facilitate team briefings, reflection and analysis

Facilitate Dhaka level feedback workshops

Responsible for Case Study 1: Local Governance (public participation)

Joint responsible for mini case study: Food Security (why limited CSO participation?)
Team member (Maheen) Responsible for Case Study 2: Primary Education (Education Policy and PEDP3)

Joint responsible for mini case study: Food Security (why limited CSO participation?)

Coordinate logistics for joint activities
Team member (Thomas) Responsible for Case Study 3: Minority Rights (land issues)

Joint responsible for mini case study: Food Security (why limited CSO participation?)

For each of the policy processes, the team members will:

  • Conduct documents review and preparatory interviews, to identify policy changes and attempts at policy change and key actors
  • Identify CSOs for case studies (but keeping an awareness of CS action outside of CSO action)
  • Identify additional stakeholders and informants from among government, INGOs, media, academia, Trade/Professional Unions and Associations, individual key informants etc.
  • Join team meeting to tentatively formulate the specific theories of change (rationale) which has guided the different actors in engaging in policy dialogue
  • With point of departure in Evaluation Framework for the Case Study phase (Annex 1) undertake interviews, focus groups and collect information/data related to the policy processes
  • Conduct community and/or institutional visits to crosscheck information, as feasible and appropriate
  • Join team meetings to analyse the available information and data by applying the instruments presented in the toolbox below
  • Organise verification workshop which includes a wider group of stakeholders (e.g. INGOs, media, academia, donors, individual key informants)
  • Join final debriefing/presentation with participating donors.

[42] The term “CSO effectiveness” emphasises the effectiveness of CSOs as development actors (see OECD 2010, Civil society effectiveness).

This page forms part of the publication 'Support to Civil Society Engagement in Policy Dialogue' as chapter 13 of 20
Version 1.0. 03-01-2013
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