TERMS OF REFERENCE (TOR) FOR THE Sustainability Assessment of Drop-in Centers for Children at risk in BiH and Montenegro

Thursday 9 November 2023



Sustainability Assessment of Drop-in Centers for Children at risk in BiH and Montenegro

Save the Children International North-West Balkans


Project name:


ENVISION– Creating ENabling enVIronment for Social InclusiON of children – phase3

Project location:

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro

Project duration:

1/1/2022 – 31/03/2024

Duration of assignment:

November 14, 2023 – January 31, 2024 (max. 60 consultancy days)

Partners in project implementation:

Association „Nova Generacija“ Banja Luka


Association „Otaharin“ Bijeljina


Youth Centre „Vermont“ Brčko


Association „Altruist“ Mostar


Association “Centar za prava djeteta”


Association “Defendologija” Nikšić


Save the Children Italy


Background information/context:


Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. In Northwest Balkans and around the world, we work daily to give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn, and protection from harm. When crisis strikes, and children are most vulnerable, we are always among the first to respond and the last to leave. We ensure children’s unique needs are met, and their voices are heard.  We deliver lasting results for millions of children, including those hardest to reach. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – to transform their lives and the future we share.


Save the Children in North-West Balkans (SCNWB), based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, conducts its activities in three countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Serbia, and the Republic of Montenegro, and supports the realization of regional initiatives in Southeast Europe. 


Project’s Goal and Objectives:


The broader goal of the BRIDGES project is to protect and empower vulnerable children and youth in the Northwest Balkans, fostering their growth into resilient, empathetic, and digitally literate citizens prepared for independent life. The specific goal of the BRIDGES project, relevant to the purpose of this Consultancy, is to support Drop-in centers for children at risk in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro[1] on their journey towards sustainability of their services for at-risk children.  Through the project, SC will support the NGO partners to operationalize their sustainability strategies and actions plans in order to diversify their funding sources, thus reducing their dependability on a single donor and local authorities and ensuring the longevity of providing services to the disadvantaged populations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro.  


Purpose of the consultancy:


Overall Objective:


Under the sponsorship of SCNWB, the Consultant is commissioned to undertake a Sustainability Assessment aimed at guiding the design and subsequent execution of the BRIDGES program interventions. These interventions will bolster the sustainability of partner organizations, thereby ensuring the continuity of quality service provision for children and youth in designated locations within Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. The assessment is structured to encapsulate a thorough analysis of the existing Partners' Sustainability Strategies and Action Plans, evaluating their capacities for effective implementation, and identifying areas that require enhancement. Additionally, the assessment will explore the contextual framework within which these organizations operate, encompassing political, social, and economic dimensions, alongside identifying potential windows of opportunities that align with the green agenda and digital transformation initiatives. The insights derived from these objectives are expected to result in the articulation of a strategic approach for the new BRIDGES project, tailored to increase the Partners' capability to sustain their operations proficiently.


This overarching objective integrates the necessary elements delineated in the five listed objectives, thereby fabricating a comprehensive structural framework for the project.


Objective 1:

Conduct a desk review of the existing sustainability strategies and action plans of NGO partners running the six drop-in centers for children at risk (in Banja Luka, Bijeljina, Brčko, Mostar, Nikšić, and Podgorica) to ascertain the level of fulfillment of these plans, recognize the achievements made and challenges encountered, and identify additional needs for effectuating these plans optimally, in line with available resources.


Objective 2:

Execute in-depth interviews with the management and steering boards of the Partner organizations, alongside operational staff (a minimum of four staff members per organization). These interviews aim to cross-verify the information obtained from the desk review and foster a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by drop-in centers on their path to sustainability.


Objective 3:

Undertake an assessment of and produce the preliminary assessment report concerning the broader contextual frameworks within which the Partners operate. Conduct interviews with external stakeholders – as identified by the Partners – encompassing decision-makers, private sector and various business entities, pertinent CSOs, and other relevant service providers, to obtain a holistic understanding of the operational context. This review should encompass considerations pertinent to the green agenda and digital transformation in the project-targeted locales within Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.


Objective 4:

Following the submission of a preliminary report on the conducted assessment, organize and facilitate a face to face workshop, engaging Partner organizations and SCNWB, with the aim of presenting the findings and conclusions emanating from the assessment. This forum will serve as a conducive platform for deliberation on the findings, evaluating their feasibility and applicability within the Partners’ operational contexts.


Objective 5:

Based on the insights derived from the workshop conducted with Partner organizations, the consultant will articulate key recommendations to guide the design and implementation of the BRIDGES program, ensuring that the recommendations are aligned with the practical and strategic nuances of the project.




1.       Comprehensive Desk Review: A thorough analysis of existing sustainability strategies and action plans of NGO partners running the DiC services, identifying achievements, challenges, and necessary resources for effective implementation.

2.       Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) with Partners: Conducting exhaustive interviews with the Partners’ management, steering boards, and operational staff, cross-verifying information from the desk review, and gaining new insights into the findings.

3.       Context Analysis(includes KIIs with relevant stakeholders): An assessment delineating the broader contextual frameworks within which the Partners operate, encompassing political, economic, social dimensions, and insights from interviews with external stakeholders as identified by Partners.

4.       Preliminary Findings, Conclusions, and Recommendations (FCR) Report: A coherent report encapsulating the preliminary findings, conclusions, and recommendations emanating from the objectives pursued, ready for discussion and validation during the workshop.

5.       Sustainability Synthesis Workshop:A consultant-facilitated face to face workshop engaging Partner organizations and SCI NWB to deliberate on the FCR Report, evaluating the feasibility and applicability of the findings within the Partners’ operational contexts.

6.       Sustainability Assesment Final Report: A conclusive report encapsulating the key findings, conclusions, and recommendations verified during the workshop discussions, aimed at guiding the design and implementation of SCI NWB programmatic interventions for enhancing the sustainability of the Drop-in Center services and Partner organizations.



Estimated Commencement Date: Mid-November 2023.

Estimated End Date: 31 January 2024.


Timeframe of delivering agreed Activities:




Comprehensive Desk Review as outlined in this TOR.

15 – 24 November 2023

Developing assessment tools and preparing key informant interview protocols and guidelines.

27 – 30 November 2023

Conducting the assessment and collecting data, conducting interviews with partners and relevant stakeholders from business sectors, government, NGOs, chambers of commerce, and business associations.

1 – 15 December 2023

Analyzing the collected data, identifying findings, conclusions, and developing recommendations.

18 - 24 December 2023

Producing a draft report with the preliminary findings, conclusions, and recommendations.  

26 December 2023 – 8 January 2024

Preparing and facilitating the Sustainability Synthesis Workshop. 

12 – 22 January 2023

Producing a comprehensive report with findings, conclusions, feasible strategies, and overall recommendations and submitting the draft version.

22 – 25 January 2024

Revising the report as needed.

26 – 30 January 2024

Submitting the final report version.

31 January 2024

*The timeframe can be changed in consultation with Save the Children.


Selection criteria:


Save the Children will engage an experienced, independent third-party Agency/Consulting firm to conduct this Assessment. The third-party Agency/Consulting firm will:


1.       Be financially and legally separate from Save the Children and partner organizations.

2.       Have staff with demonstrated knowledge, skills, and experience in conducting assessment of child protection interventions.

3.       Provide an outline for the Sustainability Assesssment, major tasks, and schedules prior to initiating the Assessment, taking into account the following guidelines:

-            Methodological approach;

-            Budget;

4.       Provide portfolio with a detailed summary of the work relevant to the subject of this TOR.

5.       Provide two letters of reference from organizations for whom the Agency provided consulting services.

6.       Provide three examples of their previous work relevant to the subject of this TOR.


Save the Children will make the award to the Bidder whose proposal provides the best value, considering both technical and cost factors. Technical and cost factors will be evaluated relative to each other, as described herein. The technical factors necessary for quality deliverance of the Assessment, taken as a whole, are of greater importance than cost or price in determining the best value.


Bidders should note these criteria:


1.       Serve as the standard against which all proposals will be evaluated, and;


2.       Serve to identify the significant matters which Bidders should address in their proposals.


The proposal submitted will be the primary document upon which each Bidder will be evaluated.


Save the Children reserves the right to waive any minor or technical defects or irregularities and reserves the right to reject any or all bids.


Save the Children emphasizes that all the accompanying costs of the Assessment (travel costs, accommodation, etc.) should be included in the offer.


Application procedures:


Candidates interested in the engagement should send their bids to Procurement.NWB@savethechildren.org no later than 14 November, 2023 (17:00). Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.


Application form link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/158fJGVpgIMRo7GvsZqDhs-zBK1RGxsau/view?usp=sharing


Special requirement:


No person working on any task for or on behalf of Save the Children may in no way whatsoever be involved or related to child abuse or exploitation as defined in Save the Children's Child Safeguarding Policy.


The contracting authority also requires that the personal data of all Assessment participants must be protected and stored in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation - (EU) 2016/679 and the national law on personal data protection in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH Law on Personal Data Protection, Official Gazette of Bosnia and Herzegovina No. 49/06).




[1] Save the Children has supported the establishment and functioning of six drop-in centers (DiC) for children at risk in BiH and Montenegro. The centers are run by the following NGOs: Nova Generacija in Banja Luka, Otaharin in Bijeljina, Vermont in Brčko, Altruist in Mostar, Defendologija in Nikšić and Center for Children’s Right in Podgorica. DiCs provide protection and support to the most vulnerable children exposed to the risk of violence, economic exploitation and social exclusion, and their families.