International Consultant (Mid-Term Review of UNDP GEF-LDCF2 Project)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Kabul, , AF

Background

UNDP Global Mission Statement:

UNDP is the UN’s global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with national counterparts on their own solutions to global and national development challenges.

General Background

UNDP-Global Environmental Facility (GEF)-Least Development Country Fund (LDCF) is a Full-sized project titled Strengthening the resilience of rural livelihood options for Afghan communities in Panjshir, Balkh, Uruzgan and Herat Provinces to manage climate change-induced disaster risks (PIMS#5098) implemented through the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL).

The project with financing from the Least Developed Country Fund (LDCF) has been designed to strengthen the capacity of the Government of Afghanistan to integrate Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) into development framework and planning, support the development of alternative climate resilient livelihood options for subsistence farmers as well as improve productive irrigation infrastructure so that agricultural productivity is not constrained under changing conditions.

The main results of the projects are as below:

  • Result 1: Climate change variability integrated into local planning and budgeting processes;

  • Result 2:Rural income and livelihood opportunities for vulnerable communities enhanced and diversified;

  • Result 3: Productive infrastructure improvements.

The project has a duration of 5 years and has been planned to last from April 2014 to April 2019. The half way point in the project was June 2016 and in accordance with UNDP and GEF requirements, the project should have been mid-term reviewed in 2016, but due to low delivery and security problems it was decided to undertake a mandatory mid-term review (MTR) during April to June 2017.

e total budget of this UNDP GEF project is US$10,004,000 including 1.4 million from UNDP Core fund.

Objective of the Assignment:

The main objective of the MTR is to provide evidence-based information that is credible, reliable and useful. The International Consultant will review all relevant sources of information including documents prepared during the preparation phase (i.e. PIF, UNDP Initiation Plan, UNDP Environmental & Social Safeguard Policy, the Project Document, project reports including Annual Project Review/PIRs, project budget revisions, lesson learned reports, project progress reports, national strategic and legal documents, and any other materials that the team considers useful for this evidence-based review). The International Consultant will also interview all relevant stakeholders including all parties who have been contracted by the project or participate in meetings and discussions with the project about launching a possible biomass demonstration project.

The International Consultant will review the baseline GEF focal area Tracking Tool submitted to the GEF at CEO endorsement, and the midterm GEF focal area Tracking Tool that must be completed before the MTR field mission begins. 

The International Consultant is expected to follow a collaborative and participatory approach[1] ensuring close engagement with the Project Team, government counterparts (the GEF Operational Focal Point), the UNDP Country Office(s), UNDP-GEF Regional Technical Advisers, and other key stakeholders such as Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA), Ministry to Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD), Ministry of Energy and Water (MoEW), key experts and all consultants in the subject area who have been hired by the project, Project Board, project stakeholders, academia, local government and CSOs, etc.

The final MTR report should describe the full MTR approach taken and the rationale for the approach making explicit the underlying assumptions, challenges, strengths and weaknesses about the methods and approach of the review.

[1] For ideas on innovative and participatory Monitoring and Evaluation strategies and techniques, see UNDP Discussion Paper: Innovations in Monitoring & Evaluating Results, 05 Nov 2013.

 
Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of Work and Deliverables:

The International Consultant will assess the following four categories of project progress. See the Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects for extended descriptions.

Project Strategy

Project design:

  • Review the problem addressed by the project and

  • Review the relevance of the project strategy and Were lessons from other relevant projects properly incorporated into the project design;

  • Review how the project addresses country priorities. Review country ownership. Was the project concept in line with the national sector development priorities and plans of the country (or of participating countries in the case of multi-country projects);

  • Review decision-making processes: were perspectives of those who would be affected by project decisions, those who could affect the outcomes, and those who could contribute information or other resources to the process, taken into account during project design processes;

  • Review the extent to which relevant gender issues were raised in the project design. See Annex 9 of Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects for further guidelines;

  • If there are major areas of concern, recommend areas for improvement.

Results Framework/Log-frame:

  • Undertake a critical analysis of the project’s log-frame indicators and targets, assess how “SMART” the midterm and end-of-project targets are (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound), and suggest specific amendments/revisions to the targets and indicators as necessary;

  • Are the project’s objectives and outcomes or components clear, practical, and feasible within its time frame;

  • Examine if progress so far has led to, or could in the future catalyse beneficial development effects (i.e. income generation, gender equality and women’s empowerment, improved governance etc…) that should be included in the project results framework and monitored on an annual basis;

  • Ensure broader development and gender aspects of the project are being monitored effectively.Develop and recommend SMART ‘development’ indicators, including sex-disaggregated indicators and indicators that capture development benefits.

Progress Towards Results

Progress Towards Outcomes Analysis:

  • Review the log-frame indicators against progress made towards the end-of-project targets using the Progress Towards Results Matrix and following the Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects; colour code progress in a “traffic light system” based on the level of progress achieved; assign a rating on progress for each outcome; make recommendations from the areas marked as “Not on target to be achieved” (red).

In addition to the progress towards outcomes analysis:

  • Compare and analyse the GEF Tracking Tool at the Baseline with the one completed right before the Midterm Review (TT will be provided by project team);

  • Identify remaining barriers to achieving the project objective in the remainder of the project;

  • By reviewing the aspects of the project that have already been successful, identify ways in which the project can further expand these benefits.

Project Implementation and Adaptive Management

Management Arrangements:

  • Review overall effectiveness of project management as outlined in the Project Document.Have changes been made and are they effective?Are responsibilities and reporting lines clear?Is decision-making transparent and undertaken in a timely manner?Recommend areas for improvement;

  • Review the quality of execution of the Executing Agency/Implementing Partner(s) and recommend areas for improvement;

  • Review the quality of support provided by the GEF Partner Agency (UNDP) and recommend areas for improvement.

Work Planning:

  • Review any delays in project start-up and implementation, identify the causes and examine if they have been resolved;

  • Are work-planning processes results-based?If not, suggest ways to re-orientate work planning to focus on results;

  • Examine the use of the project’s results framework/ log-frame as a management tool and review any changes made to it since project start.

Finance and co-finance:

  • Consider the financial management of the project, with specific reference to the cost-effectiveness of interventions;

  • Review the changes to fund allocations as a result of budget revisions and assess the appropriateness and relevance of such revisions;

  • Does the project have the appropriate financial controls, including reporting and planning, that allow management to make informed decisions regarding the budget and allow for timely flow of funds;

  • Informed by the co-financing monitoring table to be filled out, provide commentary on co-financing: is co-financing being used strategically to help the objectives of the project? Is the Project Team meeting with all co-financing partners regularly in order to align financing priorities and annual work plans.

Project-level Monitoring and Evaluation Systems:

  • Review the monitoring tools currently being used:Do they provide the necessary information? Do they involve key partners? Are they aligned or mainstreamed with national systems?Do they use existing information? Are they efficient? Are they cost-effective? Are additional tools required? How could they be made more participatory and inclusive;

  • Examine the financial management of the project monitoring and evaluation budget.Are sufficient resources being allocated to monitoring and evaluation? Are these resources being allocated effectively.

Stakeholder Engagement:

  • Project management: Has the project developed and leveraged the necessary and appropriate partnerships with direct and tangential stakeholders;

  • Participation and country-driven processes: Do local and national government stakeholders support the objectives of the project?  Do they continue to have an active role in project decision-making that supports efficient and effective project implementation;

  • Participation and public awareness: To what extent has stakeholder involvement and public awareness contributed to the progress towards achievement of project objectives.

Reporting:

  • Assess how adaptive management changes have been reported by the project management and shared with the Project Board;

  • Assess how well the Project Team and partners undertake and fulfil GEF reporting requirements (i.e. how have they addressed poorly-rated PIRs, if applicable?);

  • Assess how lessons derived from the adaptive management process have been documented, shared with key partners and internalized by partners.

Communications:

  • Review internal project communication with stakeholders: Is communication regular and effective? Are there key stakeholders left out of communication? Are there feedback mechanisms when communication is received? Does this communication with stakeholders contribute to their awareness of project outcomes and activities and investment in the sustainability of project results;

  • Review external project communication: Are proper means of communication established or being established to express the project progress and intended impact to the public (is there a web presence, for example? Or did the project implement appropriate outreach and public awareness campaigns?);

  • For reporting purposes, write one half-page paragraph that summarizes the project’s progress towards results in terms of contribution to sustainable development benefits, as well as global environmental benefits.

Sustainability

  • Validate whether the risks identified in the Project Document, Annual Project Review/PIRs and the ATLAS Risk Management Module are the most important and whether the risk ratings applied are appropriate and up to date. If not, explain why;

  • In addition, assess the following risks to sustainability:

Financial risks to sustainability:

  • What is the likelihood of financial and economic resources not being available once the GEF assistance ends (consider potential resources can be from multiple sources, such as the public and private sectors, income generating activities, and other funding that will be adequate financial resources for sustaining project’s outcomes).

Socio-economic risks to sustainability:

  • Are there any social or political risks that may jeopardize sustainability of project outcomes? What is the risk that the level of stakeholder ownership (including ownership by governments and other key stakeholders) will be insufficient to allow for the project outcomes/benefits to be sustained? Do the various key stakeholders see that it is in their interest that the project benefits continue to flow? Is there sufficient public / stakeholder awareness in support of the long term objectives of the project? Are lessons learned being documented by the Project Team on a continual basis and shared/ transferred to appropriate parties who could learn from the project and potentially replicate and/or scale it in the future.

Institutional Framework and Governance risks to sustainability:

  • Do the legal frameworks, policies, governance structures and processes pose risks that may jeopardize sustenance of project benefits? While assessing this parameter, also consider if the required systems/ mechanisms for accountability, transparency, and technical knowledge transfer are in place.

Environmental risks to sustainability:

  • Are there any environmental risks that may jeopardize sustenance of project outcomes.

Expected Output and Deliverables; Estimated duration to complete and payment percentage:

  • Deliverable 1: Stock taking and desk review

    • Together with national consultant, conduct a preliminary desk review to identify national documents and familiarize with project documents and requirements to be reported in MRT inception report; 2 working days; 10%

  • Deliverable 2: MTR Framework

    • Develop or modify (if necessary) the MTR framework to achieve the targeted result; 1 working day;

  • Deliverable 3: Survey Questionnaire

    • Develop a comprehensive questions checklist to collect data from field and relevant stakeholders; 1 working day

  • Deliverable 4: Evaluation Schedule

    • Develop an evaluation schedule including mission plans to be taken place in Kabul and targeted provinces; 2 working days; 20%

  • Deliverable 5: Inception Report

    • International Consultant clarifies objectives and methods of Midterm Review; 1 working day; 10%

  • Deliverable 6: Data Collection

    • Together with national consultant, the international consultant leads the data collection process from field and relevant stakeholder through developed questionnaire; 7 working days;

  • Deliverable 7: Data Analysis

    • Collected data analyzed and reported in MTR final report; 2 working days; 20%

  • Deliverable 8: Report on Project Strategy

    • Review the entire project design and log-frame and provide one page summary to be included in final MTR report; 1 working day;

  • Deliverable 9: Report on Review of Progress Toward Result

    • Check and review log-frame indicator and report on the progress as well as, compare GEF Tracking Tool complete during MTR with the baseline TT and provide a short summary report to be included in final MTR report; 1 working day;

  • Deliverable 10: Report on Project Implementation

    • Review and report on effectiveness of project management, quality of execution of the Executive Agencies and implementing partner, quality of support provided by UNDP and recommendation for improvement. In addition, a short narrative report on how planned activities delivered and whether financial management of the project was cost-efficient or not; 1 working day;

  • Deliverable 11: Report on Project Sustainability

    • A short report on risk identified in the project document/PIRs developed and shared with MTR team; 1 working day; 10%

  • Deliverable 12: Presentation

    • Initial Findings presented on the last day of the Mission; 2 working days; 10%

  • Deliverable 13: Draft Final Report

    • Full report (using guidelines on content outlined in Annex B) with annexes; 7 working days;

  • Deliverable 14: Submission and acceptance of Final Report

    • Revised report with audit trail detailing how all received comments have (and have not) been addressed in the final MTR report; 6 working days; 20%

Payment Modality: 

Payments under the contract shall be delivery based and be made on receipt of the specific milestone reports indicated above, and including a timesheet according to UNDP procurement formats for individual contractors. These shall be as indicated above, and shall be made upon approval by the L&R Unit.

 
Competencies

Competencies:

Special skills requirements

  • Demonstrated knowledge of environmental challenges particular on climate change and disaster risk reduction in Afghanistan;
  • Ability to work under pressure and tight deadlines;
  • Knowledge of rural development and natural resources management;
  • Outstanding data collection and analyzing skill.

Functional Competencies:

  • Building Strategic Partnerships.

Results Orientation

  • Ability to take responsibility for achieving agreed outputs within set deadlines and strives until successful outputs are achieved;
  • Openness to change and ability to receive/integrate feedback.

Team Work and Communication skills

  • Strong communications abilities, teamwork;
  • Excellent time management skills;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills;
  • Excellent presentation and facilitation skills.

Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing

  • Knowledge of inter-disciplinary development issues;
  • Demonstrates integrity and ethical standards;
  • Positive, constructive attitude to work;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.
 
Required Skills and Experience

Requirement for experience and qualification:

  • Advanced university degree (Master or PhD level) related to Environment, Climate Change, Natural Resource Management or any other relevant discipline.

Years of experience:

  • Recent experience with result-based management evaluation methodologies;

  • Experience in undertaking evaluations for UNDP or for GEF in the past 7 years;

  • Experience working in former Asian Countries (incl. Afghanistan) in the past 7 years;
  • Experience working in Afghanistan in the past 7 years in the energy sector;
  • Experience working in Afghanistan (in Climate Change Adaptation) during the last 7 years;
  • Work experience related to Climate Change in any country during the last 7 years;

  • Work experience related specifically to mobilizing investment for Climate Change Adaptation projects over the past 7 years.

Language:

  • Fluency in written and spoken English.

  • Knowledge of Afghanistan National Language (Dari or Pashto) would be an asset.

Working Arrangements

Institutional Arrangements:

  • The consultant will bear the expenses of his/her own phone bills and will need to bring his/her own computer. The consultant will work under the supervision of the Head of L&R Unit. The consultant is expected to work in the designated location as specified in the “Duration of Work” section below.

Duration of the Work

  • 35 Working Days (20 working days home based and 12 working days from Kabul Afghanistan with travel to Herat, Mazar, Panjsher, and Uruzgan provinces.

Duty Station

  • Home based and Kabul, Afghanistan.

Price Proposal and Schedule of Payments:

The contractor shall submit a price proposal as below:

  • Daily Fee – The contractor shall propose a daily fee, which should be inclusive of his/her professional fee, local communication cost and insurance (inclusive of medical health insurance and evacuation). The number of working days for which the daily fee shall be payable under the contract is 35 working days.

  • The contractor shall propose a Living allowance at the Kabul applicable rate of USD 162 per night for his/her stay at the duty station. The number of nights for which the Living allowance shall be payable under the contract is 16 nights. The contractor is NOT allowed to stay in a place of his choice other than the UNDSS approved places. UNDP will provide MORSS compliant accommodation in UNOCA to the contractor. The payment of accommodation shall be made directly by the contractor.

  • Travel & Visa – The contractor shall propose an estimated lump-sum for home-Kabul-home travel (economy most direct route) and Afghanistan visa expenses.

The total Professional fee, shall be converted into a lump-sum contract and payments under the contract shall be made on submission and acceptance of deliverables under the contract in accordance with the schedule of payment linked with deliverables.

Evaluation Method and Criteria:

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodology:

Cumulative analysis

The award of the contract shall be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

Responsive/compliant/acceptable, and;

Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.

* Technical Criteria weight 70%

* Financial Criteria weight 30%

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 49 points (70% of the total technical points) would be considered for the Financial Evaluation.

Technical Criteria for Evaluation (70 points)

  • Criteria 1: Technical Approach and Methodology (Max 20 points). This explain the understanding of the objectives of the assignment, approach to the services, methodology for carrying out the activities and obtaining the expected output, and the degree of detail of such output. The Applicant should also explain the methodologies proposed to adopt and highlight the compatibility of those methodologies with the proposed approach;

  • Criteria 2: Work plan (Max 10 Points). The incumbent should propose the main activities of the assignment, their content and duration, phasing and interrelations, milestones (including interim approvals by the Client), and delivery dates. The proposed work plan should be consistent with the technical approach and methodology, showing understanding of the TOR and ability to translate them into a feasible working plan;

  • Criteria 3: Relevance of experience in area of specialization (Natural Resource Management, Biodiversity Wildlife Trade and Poaching) (Max 10 points);

  • Criteria 4: Specific experiences in conducting any midterm evaluation particularly GEF projects (Max 20 points);

  • Criteria 5: Interview (Max 10 Points).

Documents to be included when submitting the proposals:

Interested international consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications. Please group them into one (1) single PDF document as the application only allows to upload maximum one document:

  • Duly accomplished Confirmation of Interest and Submission of Financial Proposal Template using the template provided by UNDP (Annex II);

  • Personal CV or P11, indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references.

Technical proposal:

  • A brief description of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment; and

  • A methodology, on how they will approach and complete the assignment.

POSITION TYPE

ORGANIZATION TYPE

EXPERIENCE-LEVEL

DEGREE REQUIRED