Shubbak, the UK’s largest festival of contemporary Arab culture, seeks tenders for an external Evaluation Consultant to focus on our Community Engagement and Participatory Programme over the next three years, from 2019 – 2021/22.



As part of our 2017 festival we had a strong focus on participation and engagement work, supported in part through ‘Explore and Test’ funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation (PHF). Our work explored ways of overcoming the ‘participation gap’ faced by Arab audiences, something we now aim to address further with increased support from PHF through their ‘More and Better’ funding stream.

Our engagement work will be developed over the next three years, with a focus on West London and on collaborations between artists based in the Arab world and UK artists of Arab origin. Through this work, we aim to explore the participation gap for Arab audiences and potential ways of addressing it. We also want to identify how Shubbak can place participatory and engagement work on an equal footing to other work in our festival, supporting artists, audiences and participants to experience artistic work of very high quality.

Our requirements for the evaluation

With support from PHF, Shubbak commissioned an independent evaluation of the community element of the 2017 festival. We are now seeking a suitably qualified organisation or individual/s to conduct an evaluation of our PHF-funded More and Better programme.

We hope that the evaluation will provide a range of findings and recommendations that will support continuous improvement in our programme over the next three years, contribute to shared learning with our partners, and meet the evidence requirements of current and new funders. We are also keen for the evaluation to support our thinking and organisational practice in relation to the monitoring and evaluation of our participatory practice.

We would like the evaluation to help us review the effectiveness and impact of the different strands of engagement and participation work outlined above, against our goals for each. At this stage, and certainly in the first year, we anticipate that the priorities for evaluation will be our participatory projects and the evolving youth engagement work.  We would also like the evaluation to support our reflection on some key learning questions related to our evolving participatory practice.

Required outputs

We would like the following outputs from the evaluation:

  • A revised project plan, based on your proposal, following initial scoping conversations with us
  • Two brief interim reports setting out progress and emerging findings, most likely in the Autumn of 2019 and 2020
  • A final report, of no more than 20 pages, setting out the evaluation findings, in December 2021/January 2022. This should include an Executive Summary, of publishable quality, which can be shared with a range of audiences.

Skills, experience and qualities of evaluation team

We anticipate that the successful bidder will have the following skills and experience:

  • Experience of evaluating participatory projects in the arts
  • Experience of working with community organisations, and with people from black, minority and ethnic communities, new arrivals, and asylum-seekers and refugees
  • Strong qualitative and quantitative research skills
  • The experience and ability to work in a formative and constructive way with Shubbak staff members, volunteers, associates, artists, partners and participants
  • Experience of writing publishable-quality outputs that can be shared with sector partners.

Arabic language skills would also be an advantage.

It is important the person/organisation appointed can field appropriately qualified personnel over the three-year contract.

Your proposal  

Your proposal should be limited to 4 sides of A4, excluding appendices, which should be kept to a minimum.  It should include the following information:

  • Your skills and experience of relevance to this work
  • Your proposed methodology, including the rationale for suggesting particular activities and methods
  • Details of the evaluation team (CVs can be included in an Appendix), with a clear indication of the person who is accountable for the quality of the work
  • A breakdown of the budget showing the time to be allocated to the different tasks
  • A timeline for completing the evaluation.
  • The name and contact details of two individuals or organisations who could provide a reference for your work on request

Your proposal should be submitted to by email by 18 Feb 2019.



Deadline for asking questions 7 Feb 2019
Deadline for submission of bids 18 Feb 2019
Interviews, if required Week commencing 25 Feb 2019
Successful bidder appointed 1 March 2019
Successful bidder available to begin work Early March 2019


Further information

If you have any questions about this Invitation to tender, please contact Daniel Gorman by email on .  Please note that the deadline for asking questions is 7 Feb 2019.