Tuvalu nationals: Terminal Evaluation Terms of Reference (Tuvalu Ridge to Reef Project)
In accordance with UNDP and GEF M&E policies and procedures, all full- and medium-sized UNDP-supported GEF-financed projects are required to undergo a Terminal Evaluation (TE) at the end of the project. This Terms of Reference (ToR) sets out the expectations for the TE of the full-sized project titled Project Title (PIMS #5220) implemented through the Department of Environment. The project started on 25 August 2015 and is in its 6th year of implementation. The TE process must follow the guidance outlined in the document ‘Guidance For Conducting Terminal Evaluations of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects’
- PROJECT BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT`
The objective of the project, “Implementing ‘Ridge to Reef’ approach to protect biodiversity and ecosystem functions in Tuvalu (Tuvalu R2R Project)” is “to preserve ecosystem services, sustain livelihoods and improve resilience in Tuvalu using a ‘ridge-to-reef’ approach”. To achieve this objective, the project focuses on enhancing and strengthening conservation and protected areas (Component 1); rehabilitating degraded coastal and inland forests and landscapes, and supporting the delivery of integrated water resource management (IWRM) and integrated coastal management (ICM) at a national scale whilst piloting hands-on approaches at the island scale (on three selected pilot islands) (Component 2); enhancing governance and institutional capacities at the national, island, and community levels for enhanced inland and coastal natural resource management (Component 3); and improving data and information systems that would enable improve evidence-based planning, decision-making, and management of natural resources in Tuvalu (Component 4).
The Tuvalu R2R Project is executed by the Department of Environment within the portfolio of the Ministry of Public Utilities, Environment, Labour, Weather & Disaster. Through a grant of Global Environment Facility (GEF), the project was initially implemented over a period of 5 years.
The project is part of the Pacific R2R program on “Pacific Islands Ridge-to-Reef National Priorities - Integrated Water, Land, Forest & Coastal Management to Preserve Ecosystem Services, Store Carbon, Improve Climate Resilience and Sustain Livelihoods”. It is consistent with three of the GEF-5 focal areas including Biodiversity, International Waters, and Land Degradation, and is designed to advance Tuvalu’s work towards achieving national and international priorities in these key focal areas through a comprehensive Ridge to Reef approach. As such, the project will deliver directly on: the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)’s Programme of Work of Protected Areas (PoWPA) of the Aichi Targets and the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP 2012 – 2016); the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD)’s National Action Programme (NAP); the Sustainable
The whole of Tuvalu is considered within this R2R project. Only Component 2 focusing on integrated land and water management (LD and IW) are limited to one of, or all 3 islands of Funafuti, Nukufetau, and Nanumea, whilst other Components include all 9 islands of Tuvalu. The project will directly benefit the 6,194 people living in the urban capital Funafuti (55% of the population) as well as two outer islands of Nanumea (556 inhabitants) and Nukufetau (540 inhabitants) with improved integrated water and land management measures. In addition, the project will indirectly benefit the livelihoods of the entire population of Tuvalu through the long-term impacts of the R2R approach and the enhanced management of inland and coastal resources through the additional/improved LMMA/MPA networks formalized in all 9 islands.
Since the global Covid-19 pandemic has escalated into a global humanitarian and socio-economic crisis in the first quarter of 2020, many countries including Tuvalu responded immediately by implemented strict travel restrictions as a necessary measure to mitigate the spread of the virus. International travel is limited to only necessary travel and those entering the country must have in possession a Quarantine Certificate and a mandatory negative COVID-19 test result. Travelers entering Tuvalu are expected to undergo a 14-day quarantine period (in isolation) before they are allowed to move freely. Initially, there was a lockdown period, with national government priorities focused on a Corvid 19 response plan. This had a negative impact on the project, resulting in delays to implementation for at least 2 months but with the lifting of restrictions implementation gradually picked up since June. To date, there are no known cases of Covid related deaths in Tuvalu. Government officials continue to monitor the situation and provide regular updates.
- TE PURPOSE
The TE report will assess the achievement of project results against what was expected to be achieved and draw lessons that can both improve the sustainability of benefits from this project, and aid in the overall enhancement of UNDP programming. The TE report promotes accountability and transparency and assesses the extent of project accomplishments.
Further to this, the objectives of the evaluation will be to:
- assess the achievement of project results supported by evidence (i.e. progress of project’s outcome targets),
- assess the contribution and alignment of the project to relevant national development plan or environmental policies;
- assess the contribution of the project results towards the relevant outcome and output of the Sub Regional Programme Document (SRPD) & United Nation Pacific Strategy (UNPS/UNDAF)
- assess any cross-cutting and gender issues
- examination on the use of funds and value for money
and to draw lessons that can both improve the sustainability of benefits from this project, and aid in the overall enhancement of UNDP programming
The TE will be conducted according to the guidance, rules, and procedures established by UNDP and GEF as reflected in the UNDP Evaluation Guidance for GEF Financed Projects.
- TE APPROACH & METHODOLOGY
The TE report must provide evidence-based information that is credible, reliable, and useful.
The TE team will review all relevant sources of information including documents prepared during the preparation phase (i.e. PIF, UNDP Initiation Plan, UNDP Social and Environmental Screening Procedure/SESP) the Project Document, project reports including annual PIRs, project budget revisions, lesson learned reports, national strategic and legal documents, and any other materials that the team considers useful for this evidence-based evaluation. The TE team will review the baseline and midterm GEF focal area Core Indicators/Tracking Tools submitted to the GEF at the CEO endorsement and midterm stages and the terminal Core Indicators/Tracking Tools that must be completed before the TE field mission begins.
The TE team is expected to follow a participatory and consultative approach ensuring close engagement with the Project Team, government counterparts (the GEF Operational Focal Point), Implementing Partners, the UNDP Country Office(s), the Regional Technical Advisor, direct beneficiaries, and other stakeholders.
The engagement of stakeholders is vital to a successful TE. Stakeholder involvement should include interviews with stakeholders who have project responsibilities, including but not limited to
Department of Environment, Department of Agriculture, Department of Waste, Department of Local Governments, All Island Councils ( Kaupule), Planning and Finance, Department of Fisheries, Department of Lands and Survey, Tuvaluan Association of Non-Governmental Organizations, Tuvalu National Council of Women, consultants, project board, project beneficiaries, academia, local government, and CSOs, etc. Additionally, the TE team is expected to conduct field missions to (Nanumea an island in the Northern Group, Nukufetau in the Central, Niulakita in the southern and on Funafuti ), including the following project sites; (Ifilele pond and Conservation Area of Niulakita, Conservation Area of Funafuti, Nukufetau and Nanumea, Demo Dry Litter Biggery on Funafuti, Mangrove and Coral Plantation sites on Funafuti). In case the shipping schedule is not favorable, then the TE team will need to arrange virtual meetings with Kaupule members using ZOOM.
The specific design and methodology for the TE should emerge from consultations between the TE team and the above-mentioned parties regarding what is appropriate and feasible for meeting the TE purpose and objectives and answering the evaluation questions, given limitations of budget, time, and data. The TE team must, however, use gender-responsive methodologies and tools and ensure that gender equality and women’s empowerment, as well as other cross-cutting issues and SDGs, are incorporated into the TE report.
The final methodological approach including the interview schedule, field visits, and data to be used in the evaluation must be clearly outlined in the TE Inception Report and be fully discussed and agreed upon between UNDP, stakeholders, and the TE team.
The evaluation team should be able to revise the approach in consultation with the evaluation manager and key stakeholders. These changes in approach should be agreed upon and reflected clearly in the TE Inception Report.
The final report must describe the full TE approach taken and the rationale for the approach making explicit the underlying assumptions, challenges, strengths, and weaknesses about the methods and approach of the evaluation.
The evaluator will review all relevant sources of information, such as the project document, project reports – including Annual APR/PIR, project budget revisions, midterm review, progress reports, GEF focal area tracking tools, project files, national strategic and legal documents, and any other materials that the evaluator considers useful for this evidence-based assessment. A list of documents that the project team will provide to the evaluator for review is included in Annex B of this Terms of Reference.
Analysis and reporting: Data collated will be analyzed and presented based on the evaluation criteria and ratings. The analysis will be provided in matric, tables to be best present findings and key recommendations; Reporting to be conducted in RBM (results-based management) approach.
Presentation of the final draft to country office and stakeholders: The final report must describe the full TE approach taken and the rationale for the approach making explicit the underlying assumptions, challenges, strengths, and weaknesses about the methods and approach of the evaluation
As of 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic as the new coronavirus rapidly spread to all regions of the world. Travel to the country has been restricted since March 2020 and travel in the country is also restricted. If it is not possible to travel to or within the country for the TE mission then the TE team should develop a methodology that takes into account the conduct of the TE virtually and remotely, including the use of remote interview methods and extended desk reviews, data analysis, surveys, and evaluation questionnaires. This should be detailed in the TE Inception Report and agreed with the Commissioning Unit.
If all or part of the TE is to be carried out virtually then consideration should be taken for stakeholder availability, ability or willingness to be interviewed remotely. In addition, their accessibility to the internet/computer may be an issue as many government and national counterparts may be working from home. These limitations must be reflected in the final TE report.
If a data collection/field mission is not possible then remote interviews may be undertaken through telephone or online (skype, zoom, etc.). International consultants can work remotely with national evaluator support in the field if it is safe for them to operate and travel. No stakeholders, consultants, or UNDP staff should be put in harm’s way and safety is the key priority.
A short validation mission may be considered if it is confirmed to be safe for staff, consultants, stakeholders and if such a mission is possible within the TE schedule. Equally, qualified and independent national consultants can be hired to undertake the TE and interviews in the country as long as it is safe to do so.
- DETAILED SCOPE OF THE TE
The TE will assess project performance against expectations set out in the project’s Logical Framework/Results Framework (see ToR Annex A). The TE will assess results according to the criteria outlined in the Guidance for TEs of ‘Guidance For Conducting Terminal Evaluations of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects’. The Findings section of the TE report will cover the topics listed below.
A full outline of the TE report’s content is provided in ToR Annex C.
The asterisk “(*)” indicates the criteria for which a rating is required.
- Project Design/Formulation
- National priorities and country driven-ness
- Theory of Change
- Gender equality and women’s empowerment
- Social and Environmental Safeguards
- Analysis of Results Framework: project logic and strategy, indicators
- Assumptions and Risks
- Lessons from other relevant projects (e.g. same focal area) incorporated into project design
- Planned stakeholder participation
- Linkages between project and other interventions within the sector
- Management arrangements
- Project Implementation
- Adaptive management (changes to the project design and project outputs during implementation)
- Actual stakeholder participation and partnership arrangements
- Project Finance and Co-finance
- Monitoring & Evaluation: design at entry (*), implementation (*), an overall assessment of M&E (*)
- Implementing Agency (UNDP) (*) and Executing Agency (*), overall project oversight/implementation, and execution (*)
- Risk Management, including Social and Environmental Standards
- Project Results
- Assess the achievement of outcomes against indicators by reporting on the level of progress for each objective and outcome indicator at the time of the TE and noting final achievements
- Relevance (*), Effectiveness (*), Efficiency (*) and overall project outcome (*)
- Sustainability: financial (*), socio-political (*), institutional framework, and governance (*), environmental (*), the overall likelihood of sustainability (*)
- Country ownership
- Gender equality and women’s empowerment
- Cross-cutting issues (poverty alleviation, improved governance, climate change mitigation, and adaptation, disaster prevention, and recovery, human rights, capacity development, South-South cooperation, knowledge management, volunteerism, etc., as relevant)
- GEF Additionality
- Catalytic Role / Replication Effect
- Progress to impact
Main Findings, Conclusions, Recommendations, and Lessons Learned
- The TE team will include a summary of the main findings of the TE report. Findings should be presented as statements of fact that are based on analysis of the data.
- The section on conclusions will be written in light of the findings. Conclusions should be comprehensive and balanced statements that are well substantiated by evidence and logically connected to the TE findings. They should highlight the strengths, weaknesses, and results of the project, respond to key evaluation questions and provide insights into the identification of and/or solutions to important problems or issues pertinent to project beneficiaries, UNDP, and the GEF, including issues in relation to gender equality and women’s empowerment.
- Recommendations should provide concrete, practical, feasible, and targeted recommendations directed to the intended users of the evaluation about what actions to take and decisions to make. The recommendations should be specifically supported by the evidence and linked to the findings and conclusions around key questions addressed by the evaluation.
- The TE report should also include lessons that can be taken from the evaluation, including best and worst practices in addressing issues relating to relevance, performance, and success that can provide knowledge gained from the particular circumstance (programmatic and evaluation methods used, partnerships, financial leveraging, etc.) that are applicable to other GEF and UNDP interventions. When possible, the TE team should include examples of good practices in project design and implementation.
- It is important for the conclusions, recommendations, and lessons learned of the TE report to include results related to gender equality and empowerment of women.
NOTE: Flexibility and delays should be included in the timeframe for the TE, with additional time for implementing the TE virtually recognizing possible delays in accessing stakeholder groups due to COVID-19. Consideration may be given to a time contingency should the evaluation be delayed in any way due to COVID-19.
The total duration of the TE will be approximately 30 days over a time period of 12 weeks starting on 30th April 2021. The tentative TE timeframe is as follows:
NOTE: Adjust the text in this column if a mission will not take place. The stakeholder interviews, if done virtually, may require a longer than usual time period. Please adjust the number of days and completion date to accommodate this.
- TE ARRANGEMENTS
The principal responsibility for managing the TE resides with the Commissioning Unit. The Commissioning Unit for this project’s TE is the UNDP Pacific Office
The Commissioning Unit will contract the evaluators and ensure the timely provision of per diems and travel arrangements within the country for the TE team. The Project Team will be responsible for liaising with the TE team to provide all relevant documents, set up stakeholder interviews, and arrange field visits.
A team of two independent evaluators will conduct the TE – one team leader (with experience and exposure to projects and evaluations in other regions) and one team expert, usually from the country of the project. The team leader will be responsible for the overall design and writing of the TE report. The National consultant is expected to work under the supervision of the Team Leader.
The evaluator(s) cannot have participated in the project preparation, formulation, and/or implementation (including the writing of the project document), must not have conducted this project’s Mid-Term Review, and should not have a conflict of interest with the project’s related activities.
The selection of evaluators will be aimed at maximizing the overall “team” qualities in the following areas:
- Minimum Degree in Environmental Management/Science, Natural Resource Management and/or 5 years relevant work experience;
- Experience in supporting the implementation of community-based projects
- Good understanding of biodiversity, land degradation, and international water issues in Tuvalu Strong networks with Government Departments, Non- Governmental Organizations,
- Competence in adaptive management, as applied to Biodiversity, Land Degradation, and International Waters;
- Previous experience with evaluating is advantageous
- Experience in relevant technical areas for at least 10 years.
- Demonstrated understanding of issues related to gender and International Waters; experience in gender-responsive evaluation and analysis;
- Excellent communication skills;
- Demonstrable analytical skills;
- Project evaluation/review experience within the United Nations system will be considered an is essential
- Experience with implementing evaluations remotely will be considered an asset.
- Fluency in written and spoken English.EVALUATOR ETHICS
The TE team will be held to the highest ethical standards and is required to sign a code of conduct upon acceptance of the assignment. This evaluation will be conducted in accordance with the principles outlined in the UNEG ‘Ethical Guidelines for Evaluation’. The evaluator must safeguard the rights and confidentiality of information providers, interviewees, and stakeholders through measures to ensure compliance with legal and other relevant codes governing the collection of data and reporting on data. The evaluator must also ensure the security of collected information before and after the evaluation and protocols to ensure anonymity and confidentiality of sources of information where that is expected. The information knowledge and data gathered in the evaluation process must also be solely used for the evaluation and not for other uses without the express authorization of UNDP and partners.
- PAYMENT SCHEDULE
- 20% payment upon satisfactory delivery of the final TE Inception Report and approval of the Commissioning Unit by 10 May
- 40% payment upon satisfactory delivery of the draft TE report to the Commissioning Unit by 7 June
- 40% payment upon satisfactory delivery of the final TE report and approval by the Commissioning Unit and RTA (via signatures on the TE Report Clearance Form) and delivery of completed TE Audit Trail by 24 June
Criteria for issuing the final payment of 40%:
- The final TE report includes all requirements outlined in the TE TOR and is in accordance with the TE guidance.
- The final TE report is clearly written, logically organized, and is specific for this project (i.e. text has not been cut & pasted from other TE reports).
- The Audit Trail includes responses to and justification for each comment listed.
In line with the UNDP’s financial regulations, when determined by the Commissioning Unit and/or the consultant that a deliverable or service cannot be satisfactorily completed due to the impact of COVID-19 and limitations to the TE, that deliverable or service will not be