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2021/1 - a productive period

Holidays count-down…. Finalizing one of the most productive 6-months period in my life as an independent consultant. In collaboration with a lot of great co-consultants, this has since January this year resulted in the following reports:

  • Gender Peer Review for Financial Sector Deepening Africa Network (30 pages main report + facilitation of 10 workshops)
  • Kosovo Agency for Gender Equality - evaluation of Swedish support (44 pages main report + technical proposal + inception report) - for FCG in collaboration with Ariana Qusaj-Mustafa
  • AIDS-fondet review for CISU (24 pages main report + Inception Note) - in collaboration with Camilla von Schroeder
  • UN Women Innovation Facility - review of Danish support ( 31 pages report) - in collaboration with Charlotte Kanstrup
  • UNFPA Innovation Fund - review of Danish support (32 pages report) - in collaboration with Charlotte Kanstrup
  • Evaluation of LO Norway’s collaboration with OTM-CS in Mozambique (36 pages main report + technical proposal + Inception Note) - in collaboration with Elias Ainadine
  • Evaluation of Foundation for Civil Society in Tanzania (50 pages main report + technical proposal + Inception Note) - for Niras in collaboration with Stephen Kirama, Adelaide Kisinda and Linda Helgesson Sekei.

In addition, a few other jobs were also completed:

  • Women’s Digital Financial Inclusion initiative (WDFI) 2021–2025 - guidance and QA on writing of project proposal for Financial Sector Deepening Mozambique
  • Assessment of 19 NGO applications for Danida Strategic Partnerships 2022-2025 - for HN Consultants in collaboration with Christian Boehm and Søren Langhoff
  • Human Rights Based Approach in program management - presentation at University of Nairobi webinar - in collaboration with Joshua Nyamori

Time for taking a good long break before I am back by mid-August for new and exciting jobs:

  • Facilitation of a one week regional planning workshop for SOS Børnebyerne in Nairobi - with physical presence! August 2021.
  • Gender mainstreaming and accountability roadmap for Financial Sector Deepening Zambia in September - October 2021.

Have a nice summer all of you - and a special thank you to all the great colleagues with whom I have worked this first half of 2021!


Evaluation report published: Swedish support to Agency for Gender Equality, Kosovo

The report from the final evaluation of Swedish direct grant support and consultancy to the Agency for Gender Equality, Kosovo is finally published by Sida. The final evaluation of the Swedish support to Agency for Gender Equality (AGE) in Kosovo was commissioned by the Embassy of Sweden in Kosovo. It took place from November 2020 to February 2021, i.e. towards the end of the project agreement activity period. The evaluation covered the entire project period of 2015 to 2020. It was based on document review and more than 30 virtual interviews with key stakeholders from AGE, the Kosovo government and municipal partners, civil society organizations, academia, donor agencies and the Embassy of Sweden. It was undertaken as a virtual exercise due to COVID-19 with the implicit limitations in terms of lack of personal contact and triangulation of information against observation. The report is relevant if interested in institutional support to national gender equality strategies and Swedish development cooperation. Link to the report.

Evaluation of LO Norway's partnership with OTM-CS in Mozambique

LO Norway has supported the Mozambican trade union movement OTM-CS since long time. The partnership support in recent years has been provided under an agreement from 2015-2018 and a subsequent agreement from 2019 to 2023 with an overall development goal of contributing to decent working conditions for workers, strengthening organizational capacity for collective bargaining, representation of women, and advocating for political change. The evaluation will focus on learning on project and organizational development and provide recommendations for the next steps in implementation. It will be qualitative and based on a mix of physical and virtual interviews. The evaluation is carried out in collaboration with Farol Consultoria e Serviços and will run in the period of April to June 2021.

Assessment of Strategic Partnership EOIs - Danida

Danida has invited interested Danish NGOs to present Expressions of Interest for the next round of strategic partnerships from 2022 to 2025. HN Consultants won the tender and Bente Consulting provides the team leader for the assignment. Main tasks will be assessing eligibility and capacity of 19 applicants based on defined criteria. The assignment runs in April 2021.

Evaluation of Foundation for Civil Society in Tanzania

Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) in Tanzania is undertaking an endline evaluation of their Strategic Plan 2016 - 2020 with the aim of documenting results and drawing lessons learned for the formulation of the next Strategic Plan. NIRAS Tanzania is providing the team and Bente Consulting the team leader for the evaluation which takes place as a mixture of virtual and physical meetings and interviews. Internal stakeholders (FCS founding members, board and management), their grantees (currently approx. 130 smaller CSOs) and cluster leads (major, national NGOs), development partners (SDC, Sida and Danida), as well as relevant national and local government institutions are interviewed. Surveys with former grantees as well as all current grantees will be undertaken. The focus of the evaluation is on relevance, coherence and coordination, effectiveness and efficiency, as well as impact and sustainability. A special focus is on gender and social inclusion (youth, disability, minorities]. The FCS grants support initiatives in social accountability in different sectors (agriculture, education, health and water), social inclusion and fight against harmful practices, and women's land rights. Capacity building is a pivotal activity in strengthening civil society voice. The evaluation runs from February to June 2021.  

Review of AIDS-fondet's HIV prevention program for Key Populations

AIDS-fondet implements a HIV prevention program for key populations with partner organizations in Malawi and Uganda. The program is funded by Danish funds through CISU for the period of 2019 to 2022 with a budget of DKK 12.6 million. The review focuses on documented performance and results, special issues (sustainability, South-South learning, and COVID-19 adaptation), and organizational capacity. It involves document review and vitual interviews with AIDS-fondet and partner organizations CEDEP and Action Hope Malawi. Physical meeting are carried out in Uganda with partner organizations HRAPF and LMEC. In both countries, interviews include organizational leadership and management, project and financial staff, peer educators, MSM, SWs and police officers. The review runs from February to April 2021. 

Reviews of Danish support to UN Women's and UNFPA's Innovation facilities

Denmark has since 2014 supported the Innovation Facilities at UN Women and UNFPA. Bente Consulting is contracted to undertake desk reviews of the support to the two innovation facilities. The reviews are based on desk study of program documents and strategies, virtual interviews and case studies of selected innovation projects. The reviews address overall relevance and partnerships, monitoring and accomplishment of plans, financial management and programme administration capacity and communication. December 2020 - March 2021.

Support to FSD Mozambique

Bente Consulting supports Financial Sector Deepening Mozambique (FSDMoç) in developing a project proposal for Women's Digital Financial Inclusion (WDFI) to be presented to Sida for financing. The project proposal will include four components: Financial education and literacy, Support to market actors on design of solutions and products, Innovation and the use of Digital Financial Services, and Research and knowledge dissemination. FSDMoç operated with a market system development approach and addresses access to financial services for women, youth and people with disabilities. December 2020 - January 2021.

Bente Consulting – 10 years anniversary 2010 – 2020

Bente Consulting – 10 years anniversary 2010 – 2020

Time flies and today marks 10 years since I registered my company after vivid discussions in the family on company names and with no idea of what it would take to run a private company, including tax regulations and VAT payments, being employer and employee, CEO, accountant and senior consultant – all at the same time. I thought it was a temporary solution – but it is so far the longest employment period of my career. And thanks to excellent leadership in the company, I think I will stay for a couple of more years! 

It has taken me far – geographically and topic-wise. The solid network in Mozambique helped to kick-start the business and over the years assignments in Mozambique have represented a considerable part of the portfolio. In total, I have undertaken 70+ assignments of which almost a third in Mozambique, but also West Africa, MENA and Asia are on the map. I have worked with civil society, democracy and governance, human rights and gender, and also with rural and market system development, social and financial inclusion, women, youth and disability, environment, health and sexual and reproductive health.

The jobs have included the full circle of project identification, formulation, appraisal, reviews and evaluations. I have facilitated strategy processes and learning studies, and designed baselines, monitoring and evaluation systems – and written thousands of pages of reports. I have worked in English, Portuguese, French, Swedish and Danish – or in languages, I don’t understand, depending on a local interpreter, often summarizing long sequences of talk into only short statements.

I have sat on a mat or low wooden chair under the mango trees, balanced on narrow paths on steep slopes in Myanmar, worked in dusty villages in Zambia, travelled the wide plains in Mongolia and enjoyed the beautiful seaside views in Mozambique. I have been freezing cold in high level government offices, where the aircon brings the temperature to 15 degrees, sat on uncomfortable low sofas in meeting rooms and enjoyed maize porridge and canapés during work hours, depending on the setting. I have travelled what corresponds to earth's circumference a couple of times – and paid my CO2 compensation! And I have stayed in innumerous hotel rooms – all different, but similar, and yet a few exceptions like the wooden house in Myanmar on poles and with no privacy from neighbors due to thin walls or the fancy resort in Zambia with zebras grazing on the lawn next to the restaurant.

And I have met many, many inspiring, hardworking and dedicated people that I cannot count – in farmers’ and civil society organizations, fighting for their rights and the future of their children. And there have been outstanding colleagues all along – some of which I have enjoyed working with on several occasions. I cannot thank everybody – and I cannot invite you all to a reception. Let’s blame it on the COVID-19 restrictions……though I would have love to see you all here at Agersø with a glass of champagne raised and good music playing. Thank you all of you who made this journey possible!



Bente Consulting ApS 
Egholmvej 32A, Agersoe
DK - 4244 Agersø

+45 2257 2207 (Denmark)
+258 82 7679 357 (Mozambique)

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Skype: bentetopsoejensen

CVR-number: 3335 2956

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