Union Aid Abroad- APHEDA is seeking a short-term consultant to complete an evaluation of the following project in Timor Leste. A Terms of Reference is available below.

Please send applications and any queries by 9am (AEST) Tuesday 26 April 2022 to:

Holly Fingland, International Organiser Timor Leste



Terms of reference

Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA was established in 1984 by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) as the Australian union movement’s overseas aid arm. Our purpose is for Australian unions to work globally in partnership for the achievement of dignity at work, social justice, economic equality and the realisation of human rights.

We work to achieve this through strong unions and social movements, sustainable development programs, global solidarity and support in times of crisis. We work through local partner organizations and unions in South East Asia, the Pacific, the Middle East and southern Africa.


Despite attempts to increase formal employment in Timor Leste, the dominance of informal sector employment continues; accounting for around 60% of the workforce. Without unions, labour regulations, or a strong social security system, these workers – disproportionately women – are particularly vulnerable to economic hardship and precarity, exploitation, and social and political exclusion.

Timor Leste has a large youth population with few employment opportunities; the rate for young women’s participation in the labor force is just 11%.  Acknowledging the significant challenges facing women and youth in accessing productive employment and decent work in Timor Leste, it is anticipated that domestic work and other types of informal and insecure work will be increasingly important as a source of income for young women in the future. It is therefore of urgent importance that conditions for informal workers are improved, and that workers themselves are empowered in the workplace.

Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA has supported projects in Timor Leste since 1998, working with a range of local partners to strengthen and support rural farmer and women’s organizations; and advocate for workers’ rights and union development. We have partnered with the Working Women’s Centre Timor Leste (WWCTL) since its inception in 2011 to support its programs organizing women in vulnerable and precarious work. WWCTL has focused much of its attention over the past decade on women in the non-formal sector of domestic work and has established itself as a primary source of information for women on workplace rights.

WWCTL’s three-year project (1/07/2019-30/06/2022) ‘Advocacy, Education and Supporting Timorese Domestic Workers to get Legal Protection and Decent Work’ builds on this foundation to give informal women workers increased protections and access to information about their labour rights and build their capacity to collectively advocate. Through intensive outreach, education and organising support, WWCTL seeks to grow their capacity to advocate for improved wages and conditions and actively participate in social and political dialogue. After identifying core skills and knowledge gaps, they offer skills training to bring the women together and build their confidence as well as providing labour rights education.

Purpose of the evaluation

Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA seeks to examine in-depth the work of this three-year project with ANCP/ DFAT and APHEDA funding, and our ongoing strategic relationship with WWCTL.

The evaluation will review progress across the entire program, including meetings with staff, project beneficiaries, and wider program stakeholders (for example, community leaders, members of government, and other civil society actors).

The evaluation will focus on key lessons learned and direct outcomes for domestic workers and women working in the informal sector in relation to labour rights and conditions. It will also assess progress against organizational strengthening objectives, including the establishment of domestic workers advocacy networks, and democratic worker organizations, public outreach, and participation in training and skills development. The evaluation will look at how the WWCTL and domestic workers’ organizations relate to the broader women’s workers’ and human rights movements in the country and region.

The evaluation will take into consideration the environmental impacts of the project and capacity building in identified cross-cutting areas such as gender and disability.

Staff and program beneficiaries will participate in the assessment processes and contribute to the formulation of recommendations based on the evaluation findings.

Overview of the project

The project started on 1 July 2019 and will run through to 30 June 2022. It is funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) through its Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP), Australian unions and APHEDA donations, and is a continuation of a longer-term program of work.

Building on WWCTL’s work to present, the project aims to improve working conditions for informal sector and vulnerable women workers in Timor Leste, through activities designed to empower and organize (a) domestic workers, (b) informal-sector women workers including street vendors and waste pickers, and (c) working women of all industries who have not yet joined a union.

This contributes to a long-term vision to consolidate on informal worker’s issues and address the need for legal protections for domestic workers which promote decent work and fair working conditions. Since 2017, WWCTL has campaigned for changes in Timorese labour law to include domestic workers in existing legal protections. Despite successfully advancing a draft law in 2018, due to political and State of Emergency constraints, it is yet to be realized.

As well as continuing to advocate for legal protections, the project aims to give informal women workers greater access to information, training and support so they can better understand their rights, and strengthen their understanding and ability to engage, both individually and collectively, in social and political dialogue.

Objectives of the project

The five main objectives of this project are:

  1. Domestic workers in Timor Leste get legal protection
  2. Women can access work with better conditions
  3. To give informal-sector and vulnerable women workers in Timor Leste access to a strong and sustainable collective to facilitate mutual assistance, participation in political and social dialogue, and campaigns on issues affecting them.
  4. To improve working conditions for domestic workers in Timor Leste through democratic, worker-lead organizing.
  5. WWCTL have the ability to respond to the needs of women workers.

Key project outputs include:

  • Advocacy for promulgation of the Specific Law for Domestic Workers;
  • Establishment and coordination of a domestic workers advocacy group, in preparation for the registration of a national Domestic Workers organization;
  • Ongoing workplace monitoring and contract facilitation;
  • Establishment of a working women’s hotline;
  • A community outreach program, including training packages on vocational skills, workers’ rights and union principles, media, public speaking and leadership skills;
  • Public outreach and socialization activities, including panel discussions, media conferences, videos, publications and radio talk shows;
  • A scoping study assessing the viability of organizing informal sectors in Dili;
  • Mobilizing informal women workers to participate in local, national and global campaigns
  • Training, provision of emergency support and advocacy on behalf of informal women workers during the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  • Capacity building and relationship development between WWCTL’s Board, staff, civil society organizations and umbrella networks.

Evaluation objectives

This evaluation should:

  1. Assess relevance, effectiveness, outcomes and outputs of the project from July 2019 to June 2022 against the project plan and other documentation.
  2. Assess the changing situation of informal work, labour conditions, occupational health, and women’s rights in Timor Leste.
  3. Assess sustainable impacts of creating a democratic worker-led organisation of domestic workers, enabling working women to identify and voice their needs, in particular in relation to the situation of women, children and people with disabilities and suggest new approaches to programming.
  4. Assess effectiveness and suggest enhancements to policy and procedures around child protection, counter-terrorism, fraud and sexual exploitation for WWCTL.
  5. Outline emerging concerns and possible interventions, or other projects to be funded.
  6. Make recommendations on possible next steps for the program, including suggesting key areas for a new project design.
  7. Draw lessons from the long-term strategic partnership of Union Aid Abroad–APHEDA and WWCTL and provide recommendations for strengthening impact in future collaboration.

Evaluation questions

  1. Effectiveness:
    1. To what extent have WWCTL achieved their project objectives in the last three years?
    2. In which areas has the program been successful?
    3. In which areas have efforts not provided sufficient results?
    4. What were the enablers and barriers to achieving project outcomes?
  1. Relevance: is this the right program in the current environment in Timor Leste? Describe whether and how the overall development goal/impact goal is relevant in the current context and emerging issues relevant to the impact group/s. Is this the best focus for building WWCTL currently or in the future?
  2. Efficiency and long-term impact:
    1. How has the program performed in terms of value for money?
    2. Are project approaches efficient ways to achieve the intended outcomes?
    3. Describe areas where the project may better utilize resources for greater outcomes or impact.
    4. Is it bringing sustainable long-term change (behaviour, policy, systems)?
  1. Cross-cutting issues: were the following aspects of the project sufficient and adequate and what lessons could be learned for future projects in terms of
    1. Gender equality
    2. Disability inclusion
    3. Child protection
    4. Environmental safeguards
    5. Sustainability
    6. PSEAH
  2. Sustainability: what are the options for sustainable organizing for domestic workers and for WWCTL, and what relationships could be built with the broader workers’ movement in Timor Leste? What other capacity strengthening outcomes have resulted from the partnership between Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA and WWCTL and what impact have these had?


Please send your proposed methodology in your application.

Expected output

  1. a final methodology and planning before the start of the field research
  2. a draft evaluation report
  3. a final report

The final report should include the following chapters:

  1. an executive summary (maximum 3 pages)
  2. a critical description of methods used (and potential limitations) (maximum 2 pages)
  3. findings of the study (maximum 20 pages)
  4. lessons learned (maximum 5 pages)
  5. recommendations (maximum 2 pages)

Selection criteria

The consultant/s should ideally meet the following selection criteria:

  1. Strong international development project evaluation experience
  2. Substantive experience in women’s rights and/or worker’s rights organizing programs in Timor Leste or the region
  3. Demonstrated experience with a range of evaluation methodologies, including participatory approaches
  4. Strong capacities in child rights and child protection
  5. Ability to synthesize and communicate complex development project lessons, in English and Tetum and in writing
  6. In-depth understanding of worker’s rights in Timor Leste.
  7. Knowledge and understanding of DFAT/ANCP processes and requirements (desirable).


The total budget for the evaluation is up to AUD $6000 including local meetings and consultations and any travel required.


Submission of offers Tuesday 26 April 2022
Selection of consultant(s) Friday 29 April 2022
Field research in Dili May 2022
Submission of draft evaluation report Monday 23 May 2022


Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA provides comments on draft report Friday 27 May 2022


Submission of final report Friday 3 June 2022



APHEDA will facilitate the consultant(s) work in Timor Leste, in particular with regards to introduction to partners and other key stakeholders.

NB: Due to COVID 19 travel restrictions, applications will only be sought from current residents of Timor Leste with strong preference given to Timorese nationals.

Applications should include:

  • CV of evaluator(s)
  • An evaluation plan to include (no more than 5 pages):
    • Proposed methodology, scope
    • Planning/timetable
    • Budget (clearly indicating number of days)
  • A written example of prior evaluative work.



Holly Fingland, International Organiser Timor-Leste

Union Aid Abroad- APHEDA


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