Strengthening Climate Information and Early Warning Systems for Climate Resilient Development and Adaptation to Climate Change

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

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Background

 

 

This is the Terms of Reference (ToR) for the UNDP-GEF Midterm Review (MTR) of the full -sized project titled Strengthening Climate Information and Early Warning Systems for climate resilient development and adaptation to climate change – Uganda implemented through the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE)/Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA). The project was signed in December 2013, though full implementation commenced in March 2014 and is currently in its second year of implementation. In line with the UNDP-GEF Guidance on MTRs, this MTR process was initiated before the submission of the second Project Implementation Report (PIR). This ToR sets out the expectations for this MTR. The MTR process will follow the guidance outlined in the document Guidance for Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects:

http://web.undp.org/review/documents/guidance/GEF/mid-term/Guidance_Midterm%20Review%20_EN_2014.pdf

Uganda is particularly vulnerable to the increasing frequency and severity of droughts, floods and severe storms (hail, thunder, lightning and violent winds), and their impacts on sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, as well as infrastructure. Such climate-related hazards are having increasingly adverse effects on the country and future climate change is likely to further exacerbate the situation. A large proportion of the Ugandan population has a low capacity to adapt to climate change. Climate change impacts are likely to be particularly negative on Uganda’s rural population because of their high dependence on rain-fed agriculture and natural resource-based livelihoods.

Over the past three decades, increasing temperatures, shifting rainfall patterns and climate hazards – in particular droughts, floods and severe storms (hail, thunder, lightning and violent winds) – have undermined social and economic development in Uganda, with climate hazards negatively affecting the livelihoods of an estimated 150,000 people per year. Notwithstanding these challenges, the current climate information (including monitoring) and early warning systems in Uganda are not functioning as optimally as they could for effectively supporting the adaptive capacity of local communities and key sectors.

The SCIEWS project has since 2014 made some in-roads in supporting particularly the meteorological and hydrological services in terms of building the capacity of UNMA and the Directorate of Water Resources Management (DWRM) to improve their weather and hydrological monitoring capabilities so as to generate products to inform Decision-makers, the public and private sector in Uganda to understand the likely impacts of climate change in the short and long-term. The MTR would therefore help to document the progress made so far, and help gear the project towards a successful completion and sustainability of the investments made.

 
Duties and Responsibilities

Objectives of the mid-term review:

The MTR will assess progress towards the achievement of the project objectives and outcomes as specified in the Project Document, and assess early signs of project success, or failure with the goal of identifying the necessary changes to be made in order to set the project on-track to achieve its intended results. The MTR will also review the project’s strategy and its risks to sustainability.

Approach and methodology:

The MTR shall provide evidence based information that is credible, reliable and useful. The International Consultant will work with a counterpart National Consultant; the latter to support provide the local content while the former will be the lead Consultant to ensure the deliverables are realized. The MTR team 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, national strategic and legal documents, and any other materials that the team considers useful for this evidence-based review). The MTR team will review the baseline GEF focal Area Tracking Tool (AMAT) submitted to the GEF at CEO endorsement, and the midterm GEF focal area Tracking Tool.

The MTR 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.

Engagement of stakeholders is vital to a successful MTR.[2] Stakeholder involvement should include interviews with stakeholders who have project responsibilities, including but not limited to: executing agencies, senior officials and task team leaders, key experts and consultants in the subject area, Project Steering Committee, project stakeholders, academia, local government and CSOs, etc. Additionally, the MTR team is expected to conduct field missions to selected 5 regions (Elgon, Karamoja, Teso, Lango and Central) where the MTR team should be able to meet the project responsible parties and conduct site verification.

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.

Scope:

The MTR team will assess the following four categories of project progress.  

Project Strategy:

Project design:

  • Review the problem addressed by the project and the underlying assumptions. Review the effect of any incorrect assumptions or changes to the context to achieving the project results as outlined in the Project Document;
  • Review the relevance of the project strategy and assess whether it provides the most effective route towards expected/intended results. 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.

In addition to the progress towards outcomes analysis:

  • Compare and analyse the GEF Tracking Tool at the Baseline with the one completed right before MTR;
  • 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:

  • 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 Review 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 review budget.  Are sufficient resources being allocated to monitoring and review? 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?

Conclusions & Recommendations:

The MTR team will include a section of the report setting out the MTR’s evidence-based conclusions, in light of the findings.[3]

Recommendations should be succinct suggestions for critical intervention that are specific, measurable, achievable, and relevant. A recommendation table should be put in the report’s executive summary. See the Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects for guidance on a recommendation table.

The MTR team should make no more than 15 recommendations total.

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

[2] For more stakeholder engagement in the M&E process, see the UNDP Handbook on Planning, Monitoring and Evaluating for Development Results, Chapter 3, pg. 93.

[3] Alternatively, MTR conclusions may be integrated into the body of the report.

Deliverables:

  • Submit MTR Inception Report that clarifies objectives and methods of Midterm Review, by 25th September, 2016;
  • MTR expert presents to stakeholders including Project Board, Technical Committee and Responsible Parties by 10th October 2016;
  • Submit draft final report (using guidelines on content outlined in Annex B) with annexes by 30th October 2016;
  • Submit Final report with audit trail detailing how all received comments have (and have not) been addressed in the final MTR report by 30th October 2016.

Institutional arrangement/reporting relationship:

The international consultant will work under the daily supervision of the Project Manager and the overall guidance of the Practice Specialist at UNDP Country Office.

Logistics and administration support to prospect technical advisor:

The UNDP Uganda and UNMA through the Project Management Unit will make available all the transport, and Secretariat support required, and ensure that the consultant has access to resources, key partners and sites as planned.  

 
Competencies

Functional competencies:

  • Competency in adaptive management, as applied to climate change adaptation;
  • Demonstrated understanding of issues related to gender and climate change adaptation; experience in gender sensitive review and analysis;
  • Excellent communication skills;
  • Demonstrable analytical skills;
  • Project review/review experiences within United Nations system will be considered an asset.

Compliance of the UN Core Values:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism;
  • Fulfils all obligations to gender sensitivity and zero tolerance for sexual harassment.
 
Required Skills and Experience

Academic Qualifications:

  • Master’s Degree or equivalent in social science or other closely related fields.

Years of experience:

  • Work experience in relevant technical areas for at least 10 years;
  • Of which a minimum of 5 years in similar or closely related projects review. Working experience in the Environment and Natural Resources sector would be an added advantage;
  • Experience working with the GEF or GEF-reviews;
  • Experience working in Uganda or Eastern Africa;
  • Recent experience with result-based management review methodologies;
  • Experience applying SMART indicators and reconstructing or validating baseline scenarios;

Language:          

  • Proficiency in both spoken and written English.

Price Proposal and Schedule of payments:

This section has to include the number of instalments, the percentage of the milestones achieved – accordingly to the satisfactory completion of the detailed deliverables (e.g.: 20% of the contract amount upon submission of acceptable inception report); and the timeframe to achieve each milestone (included the expected number of working days/weeks).

Evaluation Method and Criteria:

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. Example 70%-30%.
  • 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:

Criteria:

  • Technical Competence (based on CV, Proposal and interview (if required) – 70%
  •    Financial (Lower Offer/Offer*100)  -30%                                                                       

Application Procedure:

The candidate is required to submit an electronic application directly uploaded on the UNDP jobs website with all the requirements as listed here below. Annexes and further information may be downloaded on http://procurement-notices.undp.org/. (Reference # 30841).

Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications in one single PDF document to this website – http://jobs.undp.org (Ref no.67070).

Annexes:

Existing literature and documents that will help Offerors gain a better understanding of the project situation and the work required are provided as annexes to the TOR, including:

  • Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects (2014);
  • List of documents to be reviewed by the MTR Team;
  • Guidelines on Contents for the Midterm Review Report;
  • MTR Evaluative Matrix template;
  • UNEG Code of Conduct for Evaluators/Midterm Review Consultants;
  • MTR Required Ratings & Achievement Summary Table and Ratings Scales;
  • MTR Report Clearance Form;
  • MTR Audit Trail template;
  • Progress towards Results Matrix template.

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