Extension of application period: Call for Proposal

Terms of Reference for the global evaluation of outcomes of the International Campaign and Research project
“It’s Time to Talk! – Children’s Views on Children’s Work”

Extension of application period until 15th January: Download: Terms of Reference for the Global Evaluation


A. Steering Committee Organisations: Kindernothilfe & terre des hommes

Kindernothilfe was founded in Germany in 1959 as a Christian organisation to support vulnerable and marginalized children and youth to develop their full potential. Our areas of work range from community-based development projects and self-help groups to social work and street work programs, from networking and advocacy to capacity building and development education programs. Our work is founded on a commitment to children’s rights – promoting a child’s right to protection, provision and participation.
Terre des hommes Deutschland e.V. was founded in 1967 and has since been committed to protect children from discrimination, violence and exploitation; to provide a healthy, sustainable and empowering environment; and to support children affected or threatened by war, humanitarian crisis and natural disasters. Our work and the work of our partners is at all times informed and guided by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as by the voices of children themselves and those close to them.

Kindernothilfe and terre des hommes Deutschland e.V. constitute the Steering Committee of “It’s Time to Talk!” and will jointly support the evaluation process.

B. Context

Over 218 million children worldwide are engaged in some form of work, accounting for almost 17 % of the whole child population. About 73 million, i.e. almost one third, are engaged in hazardous work, endangering their health, safety and moral development. The root causes are complex. Poverty, inequality, high unemployment rates amongst adults and limited access to quality education are just some of the factors that lead to the exploitation of child work. Manifold efforts have been undertaken to end hazardous child labour. In 2010, the Roadmap for Achieving the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour by 2016 was adopted in The Hague. At the Third Global Conference on Child Labour in Brazil in 2013, government representatives and representatives from the employers’ and workers’ organizations reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening their efforts to achieve this goal by 2016. During the Fourth Global Conference on Child Labour in Argentina in 2017 governments committed to eradicate exploitative child labour by 2025 and end slavery by 2030.

While we support and encourage all stakeholders to continue their efforts towards the elimination of the worst forms of child labour and the exploitation of children, we are forced to acknowledge that programs intended to protect children sometimes fail to actually improve the lives of the children reached, especially of those most in need – maybe even leaving them worse off than they were before. The challenge remains: How do we ensure that the children really benefit from all our interventions?
The experience of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community organizations on the ground has shown that in order to be efficient, any intervention needs to address the complexity of the issue. Children can – and do – work to support themselves and their families whereby this work may have positive or negative effects. Children may work with dignity and in settings that are neither harmful nor exploitative, where they are able to learn technical, business and life skills; earn an income and realize their citizenship as active members of their community. However, children may also find themselves working in unsafe and unhealthy environments, with little or no pay, which furthermore interfere with their access to education, hence limiting future opportunities. Moreover, children are a not a homogenous group. On the contrary, when we speak of
children as social actors, we must acknowledge their multifaceted socio-economic backgrounds and identities as a result of class, race, gender, age, culture and religion. Key to understanding this complexity and ensuring accountability for our interventions is the meaningful participation of the children themselves. This applies to all levels – homes, schools, workplaces, communities and policy making. Many working children have expressed that as long as their families are in need of their support, they are expected and frequently also willing to contribute to the household’s income. At the same time, they insist on their right to education, protection and health. In Latin America and Africa some children even claim their right to work – uniting in trade unions. These developments show that we need to create a policy framework that allows for individual solutions focusing on the rights, well-being and best interest of every single child in every single context. A blanket ban on all forms of child work is not the right approach and, in many cases, even counterproductive. Individual assessments, careful monitoring, effective participation of the concerned children, adequate understanding of the local realities and available alternatives are crucial in order to protect children from the worst forms of child labour and hazardous exploitative work. Intervention may include improving the working conditions, creating income opportunities for adults or ensuring access to education after/before work. The most important step in setting the path for this framework, however is to listen to working children. According to Article 12 of the United Nations Child Rights Convention (CRC), children have the right to be heard in decision-making processes relevant to their own lives.
Additionally, Article 13 protects their right to expression, and Article 15 their right to freedom of association and peaceful assembly. Not only do we have to ensure that children can participate in decisions that affect their lives because they have a right to do so, but also because children are experts in understanding their own lives and living conditions and can thus contribute substantially to the solution-finding process.

C. Brief description of the International Campaign and Research project “It’s Time to
Talk! – Children’s Views on Children’s Work”

‘It’s Time to Talk! – Children’s Views on Children’s Work’ (hereinafter: Time to Talk!) was launched by Kindernothilfe, Save the Children Canada, and Terre des Hommes International Federation in March 2016 and will end April 2020. It is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. The goal of Time to Talk! was to enable and empower working children to have their views heard in local, national and global decision-making processes, including in the run-up to the IV Global Conference on the
Sustained Eradication of Child Labour in Argentina in November 2017 and further adequate policy discussion forums. In the first phase Time to Talk! collaborated with 56 partner organizations, in the second phase with a reduced number of partners focusing on 28 Children’s Advisory Committees in Latin America, Africa, Asia, Middle East and Europe. One virtual Adult Advisory Committee was also formed including academics and practitioners with significant experience in children’s rights advocacy and children’s work issues to give
feedback in different stages of the project on research design and analysis, children’s advocacy and project developments. The Time to Talk! project has trained partner organisations in and supported different types
of participation namely: Consultation of 1.822 children (52% girls, 48% boys) aged 5 to 18 years in focus group
discussions and participatory activities, as well as through the use of individual interviews to complete questionnaires on each participant’s key background information. Through the consultations in 36 countries, adults facilitated and documented children’s views to gain knowledge and understanding of their experiences. The consultations were primarily adult initiated and facilitated. Collaborative participation of children aged 9 to 18 who were actively involved in children’s advisory committees that accompanied the research and consultation process by drawing upon working children’s expertise and insights as advisers, analysts, and advocates. Opportunities for collaborative participation, where there was a greater degree of partnership between children and adults, were also supported through the so-called Public Action Events and National Exchange Programme in 2017 and some Advocacy Actions in 2019. They, in turn, supported collaborative initiatives by adults and children, giving opportunities to children to share their key advocacy messages and dialogue with concerned adult duty-bearers. Child-led participation where working children had space and opportunity to initiate and plan their own activities, and to advocate for themselves on issues affecting them, were also supported through some of the Public Action Events in 2017 and Advocacy Actions in 2019. Diverse types of actions organised by working children included rallies, sport events, demonstrations, theatre, workshops, video and music productions, press tours and press releases targeting different audiences like international institutions, local to national governments, NGO’s, media, community, parents and caregivers, employers and peers. The training and capacity building of the involved partner organisations (2016-2018 a total of 56 organisations; 2019 a total of 25 organisations) was accompanied by the development of two training toolkits. A research toolkit to guide local civil society partners in the planning,
facilitation (tools & methods) and documentation of the consultations and a methodological toolkit to guide  the development of collaborative and child-led advocacy on local to national level. The consultation results were analysed and comprehensively summarized in a Global Report that was presented at the IV Global Conference on the Sustained Eradication of Child Labour 2017 in Argentina. The participation of working children during this event could not be realized. The report exists as a child-friendly version6 in currently 10 languages.

In 2018 a validation and lessons learned process was completed including data from children’s advisory committees, the adult advisory committee, the steering committee, staff of NGO partner organisations, involved external consultants and existing documents providing feedback on the process, methodology and scope, quality and outcomes of participation so far. Furthermore, a briefing paper was published in cooperation with Young Lives, summarizing the implications for child-rights-based policy interventions with regard to working children.



A. Purpose of the Evaluation

This evaluation is initiated by the Steering Committee organizations and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. The purpose of the evaluation is to analyze the level of achievement of the intended project outputs (Annex A) on the one hand, and to outline the implications for a subsequent project proposal on the other. With regard to the targeted impact of Time to Talk! and the desired indications for a follow-up project the evaluation is to focus on three of the intended outputs:

   1. Working children in at least 25 countries have established and articulated their position
          on the issue of child work. They have organized to share their experiences and to
          develop and pursue solutions for their (day-to-day) challenges. This includes addressing
          the relevant stakeholders from peers to parents and teachers to local to national policy officials.
          2. The working children participating in the project activities know and put to use their right
          to participation in processes that affect them as set by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
          3. Public awareness for children’s right to participate has been strengthened.

While examining the level to which these outputs could be achieved, a special emphasis should be on the implications each finding has for the development of the strategies and activities included in a follow-up project that is to start in 2020. Therefore, the evaluation should further highlight the degree to which the project was able to realize high levels of relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability (OECD
DAC-Criteria). The key users of the evaluation results will be the following:
· Steering Committee organizations
· Partner organizations and Children’s Advisory Committees
· German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development/bengo-program

B. Evaluation Objectives (by target groups)

Working children

  •  To assess children’s knowledge and awareness of their rights, especially their
    right to participate (Effectiveness)
  • To assess the degree to which this knowledge has successfully been transformed
    into (advocacy) action (Effectiveness)
  • To assess the usefulness of the project interventions for the children’s interests

Facilitators (in partner organizations)

  • To assess the appropriateness and quality of the trainings, especially content and
    training methods (Effectiveness)
  • To assess if the new learned skills from trainings are used also in other contexts.
    If not, what are the reasons? (Effectiveness, Sustainability)
  • To assess the extent to which the training workshops influenced the participants’
    understanding, approach, and work with working children (Impact, Sustainability)
  • To assess the quality and adequacy of the toolkits and meeting plans incl.
    proposed time (Efficiency)


  • To assess the frequency, success and sustainability of contact with local, regional, national or global decision-makers (Impact, Sustainability)
  • To assess stakeholders to whom the project interventions were relevant and in what way? (Relevance)
  • To assess the level of media coverage with relation to Time to Talk! and children’s right to participate (Impact)

C. Scope of the Evaluation

The evaluation should cover the variety of living and working conditions of children involved in the project. Therefore, a combination of face to face interviews and virtually conducted interviews (for example via Skype) with both children and facilitators is envisaged. Both analogue and virtual interviews must be composed of child-friendly and child rights-based methods.
In order to ensure sufficient variety, 7 CACs should be visited in person (two each in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and one in Middle East/Europe), while an additional 8 should be 6 interviewed via Skype (two from each region). Thereby more than half of the partner organizations will be included, securing a significant and broad data base. Aside from ensuring representation of different regions, different forms of work and living
conditions must also be taken into account. Accordingly we suggest the following selection of CACs to be included in the evaluation (indicated in bold letters). Alterations may be made after consultation with the Steering Committee, according to consultants’ location, language skills and travel routes or the schedules of the CAC members.

The evaluation will not be able to examine:

  • The projects influence on the prevalence of child work and child labour in the project regions
  • The individual performance of each of the 28 active CACs, its success and its challenges

D. Suggested Evaluation Methods
A child-rights-based approach is the basis of our project and should also be applied in the evaluation. Lundy/ McEvoy (2012) identified the following three core principles of childrights-based approach:

  •  the research aims should be informed by the CRC standards,
  •   the research process should comply with the CRC standards,
  • and the research outcomes should build the capacity of children, as rights-holders, to
    claim their rights and build the capacity of duty-bearers to fulfil their obligations”

We propose that the evaluators combine age appropriate evaluation methods to make sure that different perspectives and views of working children of different ages and abilities will be reflected.
The evaluation should apply mixed methods, including:

1. a desk review of existing documents and documentations,
2. visits to a sample of 7 Children’s Advisory Committees and respective partner organisations for semi-structured interviews with both facilitators and children, in case of the latter applying child-friendly language and tools,
3. virtual semi-structured interviews with both facilitators and children from an additional 8 partner organisations,
4. additional interviews with political stakeholders, community officials and elders, media
or teachers and parents.

The evaluation should draw upon existing data and findings, especially data and findings from the Lessons Learned Report I (2019). Some findings concerning results of the National Exchange and Public Action activities are also included in the main Time to Talk research report (2018). Additionally available is a non-published Gender Briefing Paper; and a recently published paper including the global Advocacy Recommendations of the active CACs in 2019. The evaluators must ensure application of the International Charter for Ethical Research Involving Children.

E. Evaluation Questions
The evaluation should adhere to the targeted outputs and indicators thereof described in the effect matrix. Guiding questions for the evaluation should include:

  • Within the framework of the implementation and realization of children’s rights, how
    does the project add to existing structures and programming?
    a. Which other stakeholders are pursuing the same objectives and how?
    b. What policies/research approaches does/does not the project comply with and
    in what way?
    c. How do children evaluate the usefulness of the project (project interventions)
    for their own interests?
  •  How does the level of achievement of the targeted project outputs differ and what
    structural reasons for these differences can be identified?
    a. How has children’s perception and understanding of their rights changed and
    what effects did this change trigger?
    b. How has the facilitator’s perception and understanding of the children’s right to
    participation changed/not changed and what effects did this change trigger?
    c. Which activities and tools have been proven to be particularly meaningful and
    effective to change children’s living and working conditions?
    d. How did the acknowledgement of children’s right to participate change within
    the social/political community and media?
    e. What are the measurable impacts of the project and on which level
    (micro/meso/macro level)?
  • What lessons can be learned for the development of a follow-up project for 2020?
    a. What challenges, and problems and risks did children face in or caused by
    their participation or demand for participation?
    b. How can meaningful participation of children in project activities and project
    planning be further strengthened? Who can support the strengthening of their
    c. How can the sustainability of project activities be ensured?
    d. How can the involvement of stakeholders on different levels (i.e. on
    provincial/district and/or on national/global level) be strengthened? Which
    impacts on these levels should the follow-up project aim to achieve and how?

A. Expected Deliverables

The expected deliveries include the following:

  • Inception Report summarising the results of the desk study
  • Development of evaluation methodology outlining the methods, tools (including child-friendly tools for the age group 7 to 18 years in English and Spanish language) and ethical approaches
  • Documentation of the results of the semi-structured interviews Draft evaluation report in English language
  • Dissemination & validation workshop, incl. child-friendly presentation of the main results and proposals for a follow-up project in English language (with participation of CAC delegates)
  • Documentation of the workshop
  • Development of recommended indicators suitable for the establishment and monitoring of a follow-up project
  • Final Evaluation report in English language. The report shall include an executive summary of the findings on max. 3-5 pages, the evaluation report shall notexceed 30 pages excluding all annexes

B. Timeframe
The evaluators will visit 7 active Children’s Advisory Committees and the respective partner organisations worldwide for 2-3 days. The timely order of the CACs and partners to be visited should be determined by the evaluators in consultation with the local partners and the Steering Committee. Additional data is to be collected virtually in cooperation with 8 CACs and partner organisations, e.g. using Skype interviews.

A draft of the evaluation report must be presented to the project Steering Committee by the 15th of March 2020. This will be followed by a dissemination workshop to the Steering Committee members in one of the project countries, partially including the participation of CAC members. The final report must be submitted to the Steering Committee by the 31st of March 2020.


A. Evaluators’ Requirements

We are looking for a team of three evaluators, consisting of one senior and two junior consultants. We expect the following qualification and experience:

  • experience with child-friendly research/ child-rights based research
  • experience with quantitative/qualitative research and evaluation methods, including data collection and analysis as well as management and dissemination of results
  • intercultural sensitivity and background
  • fluent verbal and written skills in English and Spanish is required
  • commitment to the United Nations Child Rights Convention
  • recent police check and readiness to adhere to organisational child safeguarding policies
  • preferably a gender-balanced team

B. Roles and Responsibilities
Kindernothilfe and terre des hommes Germany will provide the following support to the evaluators:

  • Existing data and research, incl. results of earlier validation process.
  • Establishment of contact with the partner organizations and other relevant stakeholders (if necessary).
  • The Evaluators will have the following responsibilities:
    • Apply and respect the established Anti-Corruption Code, Code of Conduct and Child
      Protection Policy, assuring also the anonymity of each child involved in the evaluation
      or overall project.
    • Contact with the involved partner organizations and other stakeholders to organize
      required (virtual/in-person) meetings or visits.
    • Travel arrangements are also the responsibility of the evaluators.
    • A continuous communication about the progress of the evaluation is mandatory.

Further details will be laid down in the engagement contract.

C. Mode of Payment

The proposed mode of payment is:

a) 50% on signing the contract
b) 20% on submission of the draft report
c) 30% on approval of the final report

D. Proposals

The deadline for the presentation of proposals is the 3rd January 2020.
Proposals in English language including supporting documents such as CVs and work samples; cost estimation listing separate costs for each phase as well as a timetable need to be sent electronically to the project organizers, namely:
Anne Jacob, Kindernothilfe: anne.jacob@knh.de
Marieke Erlenstedt, tdh Germany: m.erlenstedt@tdh.de