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Evaluation of IBP’s Strengthening Public Accountability for Resources and Knowledge (SPARK) Program

Proposals Due: April 18th 2022

Background IBP’s Strengthening Public Accountability for Results and Knowledge (SPARK) initiative partners with diverse grassroots organizations and social movements representing historically marginalized constituencies to help them understand the fiscal challenges behind poor service delivery and equip them with the knowledge and tools necessary to effectively advocate for improved public spending and services. SPARK combines the strength and momentum of large, “bottom-up” advocacy movements with the targeted public finance expertise and experience we offer to improve public services for vulnerable communities.

Since launching SPARK in 2018, IBP and its civil society partners have successfully piloted a model in seven countries (Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, and South Africa) that harnesses the collective power and political influence of grassroots groups and social movements to build powerful service delivery and budget-focused reform campaigns. Over the past four years, SPARK has achieved significant, results at scale in improving fiscal governance systems and service delivery. Just as critically, centering groups that represent marginalized communities (including women, small-scale farmers, and people with disabilities) as the main drivers of change represents an important shift in the field of public finance. Historically, the key players in public finance systems have been technical experts (e.g., think tanks, civil society groups that specialize in budget advocacy and analysis, etc.), and there have been few opportunities for grassroots groups and social movements to actively and meaningfully participate in budget processes and debates. Emerging lessons from SPARK have been documented on building collective agency, working in coalitions, and engaging and shifting government.

The first phase of SPARK (2018-2022) focused largely on the budget and service delivery issues that are the most salient and visible in terms of citizens’ daily lives. SPARK has embedded sustainable capacities in powerful local actors and coalitions, and achieved important outcomes from increased budget allocations and execution to direct service delivery improvements for historically excluded groups. But increasingly, there is recognition of the need to focus on deeper, fiscal governance systems issues to sustain and scale reforms and impacts. The focus of a second phase of SPARK (beginning in 2023) will be that targeted fiscal governance and service delivery systems are more inclusive, responsive, and accountable to the needs of historically excluded groups, especially women and girls. In order to take stock of progress in phase 1 of SPARK and leverage evidence and insights to inform phase 2, IBP will undertake an evaluative assessment of the program, its results and lessons learned.

 

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Proposal submissions should be sent to Brendan Halloran ([email protected]) no later than April 1, 2022, with a final decision on evaluator by April 12, and an anticipated start of the evaluation in May 2022. Questions on this ToR may submitted and will be answered as promptly as possible.

International Budget Partnership is an Equal Opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status.