Evaluation Specialist

UNOPS
Home-Based / Remote
Position Type: 
Consultancy
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)

EXPIRED

Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS supports the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to serve people in need by expanding the ability of the United Nations, governments and other partners to manage projects, infrastructure and procurement in a sustainable and efficient manner.

Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, our vision is to advance sustainable implementation practices, always satisfying or surpassing our partners’ expectations.

With over 7,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, UNOPS offers its partners the logistical, technical and management knowledge they need, wherever they need it.

A flexible structure and global reach means that we can quickly respond to our partners' needs, while offering the benefits of economies of scale. 

Background Information - Myanmar

The UNOPS Myanmar under the UNOPS Asia Regional Office has been established to better support, develop and oversee the UNOPS portfolio of programmes and projects in Myanmar with focus on health programmes and livelihoods and rural development. UNOPS Myanmar ensures that synergies between projects are effectively developed.

The UNOPS Myanmar portfolio currently comprises several programmes and projects, including fund management of the multi-donor Three Millennium Development Goals Fund and the Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund. In addition, UNOPS is the Principal Recipient of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria grants to Myanmar. UNOPS Myanmar has also been designated as Principal Recipient of the GFATM for a Regional Malaria Grant (Regional Artemisinin Initiative) covering 5 countries- Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. UNOPS is also expanding its infrastructure and procurement services in Myanmar, including advisory services in these areas.

UNOPS Myanmar plays a critical role in ensuring quality services to UNOPS partners that meet stringent requirements of speed, efficiency and cost-effectiveness. It is also responsible for liaison with government counterparts, donors, and UN Agencies.

Background Information - Job-specific

UNOPS is the Fund Manager for the multi-donor Livelihood and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT) established in Myanmar  in 2009. The donors are Australia, Denmark, the European Union, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. From the private sector, the Mitsubishi Corporation is a donor.

LIFT’s vision is to be a collective and influential voice for innovation and learning, and to provide a platform for enhanced policy engagement on sustainable agriculture, food security and rural development. LIFT’s goal is to contribute to sustainably reduce the number of people in Myanmar living in poverty and hunger. LIFT’s purpose is to strengthen resilience and sustainable livelihoods of poor people in Myanmar by focusing on interventions that increase income, decrease vulnerability, improve nutrition of women and children, and support pro-poor policy development.

LIFT works with and through support to implementing partners (IPs) such as international NGOs, national NGOs, United Nations agencies, international organisations (CGIAR, IFIs), academic and research institutions, the private sector and the Government of Myanmar. LIFT is currently funding projects at the Union level and in Ayeyarwaddy Delta, Dry Zone and Chin, Kachin, Shan and Rakhine states.

The Fund is expected to continue operations until at least the end of 2018. So far, LIFT has reached over three million people, or around ten per cent of the country’s rural population. All LIFT-supported projects are subject to project evaluation, which is managed by the LIFT Fund Management Office (FMO). Read more about LIFT on www.lift-fund.org

Background on the assignment: LIFT recognizes that the private sector is fundamental to achieving its strategic goals and contributing to poverty reduction in Myanmar.  Myanmar’s biggest challenges will not be solved by donor assistance alone, and will require the resources, expertise, technologies, and sustainability that the private sector brings.  While LIFT engages the private sector to achieve development objectives, private companies engage in development because it is in their business interest to do so.  A vibrant private sector is essential to create the conditions where assistance is no longer needed.  

In view of this principle, LIFT is engaging with the private sector at different levels. In December 2015, LIFT entered a grant agreement with PRIME Agri Ltd, a for-profit business and its subsidiary named Smallholder Prosperity Enterprises Pte Ltd (SPE), on the project, “Water for Livelihood and Smallholders Prosperity (WFL)”.  The project is 3 years performance-based project with total budget of 5.9 million USD.

Objectives: The overall goal of the WFL project aims at integrating smallholder farmers in Myanmar into the agricultural value chain development. Specific objectives are to (1) empower and enable smallholder farmers to transform into commercial producers by providing market access (2) demonstrate and operate a profitable business model that provides delivery of technology, services, knowledge and finance to smallholder farmers  (3) strengthen market linkages and improve capacity of smallholders for production of a diverse range of high-quality commodities as leading supplier of agriculture and food products; and (4) promote rural prosperity and improve the quality of life of rural farmers, families and communities through inclusive agribusiness led growth.

Area and Target Groups: The project targets to cover 5,000 acres with an estimated impact of 30,000 smallholder farmers (including household’s members) in Southern Shan State.

Components: The project was structured with five critical components: 

(a)    Infrastructure: Introduction of new irrigation systems such as drip technology in the farmlands accessible to water resources and infrastructure

(b)    Crop Inputs: Bringing advances in science and technology to smallholder farmers at localized levels for higher productivity and income such as commercial seed varieties, crop nutrition and crop protection

(c)     Training and Certification: Providing Global GAP (good agricultural practices) with customized features of food safety, sustainability compliant practices and certifications to qualify for higher value premium markets

(d)    Financing: Promoting access to finance among the smallholder farmers through linking with microfinance institutions and private banks such as hire-purchase of agricultural tools and equipment

(e)    Access to market: Targeting 20 to 30 percent of SPE farmers to benefit from higher allocations in certain value chains like potatoes for chipstock, vegetables for semi-finished intermediate food ingredients, mangos, avocados, cashew, etc. 

Purpose of the evaluation

The general purpose of the evaluation is to assess the extent to which the PRIME-SPE implemented ‘WFL’ project has achieved the targeted results based on the project strategy, objectives and components, and work plan as per general agreement with LIFT and to discern overall lessons and best practices of the project implementation. This external evaluation also is to identify lessons learned and provide recommendations that LIFT and LIFT implementing partners and stakeholders might use to improve the design and effective implementation of the other related private sector projects and programs, as well as develop better cooperation among them in the future. 

Functional Responsibilities

The consultant will be under the direct supervision of the LIFT Rural Finance and Agricultural Program Officer. The current project implementation status will be evaluated. The evaluation will assess the performance of the project in terms of effectiveness, efficiency, and timeliness of producing the expected outputs. More specifically, the evaluation will review the level of interest of smallholder farmers, adoption of drip irrigation technology by smallholder farmers, procurement of irrigation equipment, effectiveness of delivery platforms, capacity building and financing options for farmers. It will also review whether the project’s implementation strategy and approach address the issues of market development of smallholder farmers. The specific objectives/tasks are to:

Relevance: The extent to which the project strategy is suited to: (1) the priorities and needs of the target beneficiaries; (2) LIFT’s policies and objectives; and (3) to the achievement of the project’s objectives.

Effectiveness: Assess the results of the implemented project activities against planned outputs, targets and milestones. Assess the quality and timeliness of inputs, the reporting and monitoring system.

 Efficiency:  Assess the extent to which the project has delivered value for money thus far, in terms of costs and major benefits or potential benefits, as well as the cost-efficiency of project interventions and the quality and timeliness of inputs.

Recommendations: Identify risks and opportunities to improve implementation in order to better achieve project objectives.

Approach and Methodology

Suggested data sources and collection methods include:

  • Review of project documents, such as WFL’s project proposal, work plan, budget, data records and progress report.
  • Conduct consultations/interviews with LIFT Program Officers and relevant project stakeholders and partners in Yangon and in Southern Shan State including Yoma Bank, Mercy Corps and Winrock International.
  • Site visits, which includes observation leased farmers’ farms, demonstration farms, and consultations with community leaders, WFL staff and other relevant stakeholders.

The consultant will clearly demarcate between sources of information, comment, opinion and interpretation.

Deliverables and timelines

Deliverables will be agreed with the supervisor, based on the work plan and the TOR. Perform other relevant duties as may be assigned by the supervisor. Typical deliverables of project evaluations include; evaluation questions and guidelines for the interview, a draft final report and final evaluation report.

Duration/Scope of Work
The evaluation will cover the entire inception phase of the WFL project.  The consultant will work for 20 working days within one month period (estimated 50% each for homebased and Myanmar), including home based desk review, travelling days, consultations in Yangon, field visits, presentations and home based report writing.  Field work will be conducted after holding consultations in Yangon, followed by a debriefing session in Yangon. A draft final report must be submitted after the debriefing and final report must be submitted within 7 calendar days after written feedback from LIFT.

Management Arrangements

The Fund Management Office will support the consultant by:

  • Providing the appropriate reports and materials
  • Organizing the logistics for the consultations and briefing session in Yangon, including inviting participants and covering the costs of the venue, materials, and lunch / refreshments
  • Organizing meetings with select stakeholders
  • Arranging field visits for the consultant and accompanying the consultant on those visits

Education/Experience/Language requirements

Education

  • A Master’s Degree in agricultural economics, agricultural engineering, agriculture and water resource management, rural development, socio-economics, economics or related field is required.
  • A Bachelor's degree in related field in combination with 2 additional years of experience in similar positions may be accepted in lieu of Master's degree.

Experience

  • A minimum of 7 years relevant experience in monitoring and evaluation, programme management, project management, knowledge management or results based management is required.
  • At least 5 years of working experience in carrying out evaluations is required.
  • Demonstrated experience in agriculture /agribusiness management of project activities would be an asset.
  • Extensive experience working with the private sector and in different businesses of the agricultural sector would be an asset.
  • Extensive knowledge of experience working with agribusiness companies or irrigation projects would be an asset.
  • Experience working and/or cooperating with multiple development partners, including multi-lateral institutions would be an asset.
  • Understanding the context of Myanmar agriculture and related working experience would be an asset.
  • Computer literacy in Microsoft packages (MS Word, MS Excel, and MS Access) is required.

Language

  • Fluency in both written and spoken English is essential.

Competencies

  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision in a complex and multi-cultural environment; 
  • Excellent conceptual and analytical skills and ability to identify problems and propose solutions;
  • Attention to systematic, detail, accuracy and under pressure;
  • Consistently approach work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Strong communication skills to establish effective working relationships with the client
  • Proven ability to identify clients’ needs and propose appropriate solutions.
  • Ability to establish and maintain productive partnerships with clients. 
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written. 
  • Strong inter-personal skills and ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with people in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity, and with high level stakeholders. 

Contract type, level and duration - Internship

Contract type: International Individual Contractor Agreement (Retainer)
Contract level: IICA 3
Contract duration: 20 days, over a period  of 1 month 

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:
https://www.unops.org/english/Opportunities/job-opportunities/what-we-offer/Pages/Individual-Contractor-Agreements.aspx 

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS. 

Special considerations:  

  • The applicants are requested to indicate fee expectations in USD in an application letter. 
  • Note that this is home-based contract with travel to Myanmar. Reimbursement of international and local travel ( economy fares) and payment of Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) will be paid according to UN rules and regulations.

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns.
Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.