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 Ridge to Reef – Testing the Integration of Water, Land, Forest & Coastal Management to Preserve Ecosystem Services, Store Carbon, Improve Climate Resilience and Sustain Livelihoods. It is commonly referred to as the Regional Ridge to Reef (R2R) project.
The TE process must follow the guidance outlined in the document ‘Guidance For Conducting Terminal Evaluations of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects’
To support the ongoing development of ‘Ridge to Reef’ and ‘Community to Cabinet’ approaches in Pacific PICS through the abovementioned multi-focal area R2R program, the GEF Council approved the development of an International Waters project entitled “Ridge to Reef: Testing the Integration of Water, Land, Forest and Coastal Management to Preserve Ecosystem Services, Store Carbon, Improve Climate Resilience and Sustain Livelihoods in Pacific Island Countries”. This regional project was implemented by the United Nations Development Program through the Applied Geoscience and Technology Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community in partnership with the 14 Pacific Island Countries to improve the integration of water, land, forest, and coastal management required to fashion sustainable futures for island communities. The project aimed to address the recent high-level recognition and calls for results-based approaches to the management of development assistance programmes and projects, with support provided in areas of coordination, capacity building, technical assistance, and monitoring and evaluation for the operation of the broader Pacific R2R program.
Importantly, the project was built on nascent national processes from the previous GEF IWRM project to foster sustainability and resilience for each participating island nation through reforms in policy, institutions, and coordination; building capacity of local institutions to integrate land, water and coastal management; establishing evidence-based approaches to ICM planning; and improved consolidation of information and data required to inform cross-sector R2R planning approaches. These processes are being sustained. It is envisaged that this project focused much attention on harnessing support of traditional community leadership and governance structures with improving the relevance of investment in integrated land, water, forest, and coastal management. This project also provided coordination functions and linkages with the national GEF STAR multifocal projects and LDCF project and facilitated dialogue and action planning through national Inter-Ministry Committees on responses to emerging issues and threats in environment and natural resource management. Similarly, it will facilitate coordinated exchanges of experience and results of the GEF portfolio of investments in a broader regional R2R programme for PICs. Linkages with co-financed activities on water resource and wastewater management, coastal systems and climate adaptation and disaster risk management will ensure more targeted capital investment in coastal infrastructure within an integrated management framework. Similarly, the project had fostered solidarity among the PICs, particularly with respect to the political will required in supporting more integrated approaches to R2R in natural resource management.
The purpose of the project was to test the mainstreaming of ‘ridge-to-reef’ (R2R), climate resilient approaches to integrated land, water, forest, and coastal management in the PICs through strategic planning, capacity building and piloted local actions to sustain livelihoods and preserve ecosystem services. This regional project provided the primary coordination vehicle for the national R2R STAR Projects that are part of the Pacific R2R Program, by building on nascent national processes from the previous GEF IWRM project to foster sustainability and resilience for each island through: reforms in policy, institutions, and coordination; building capacity of local institutions to integrate land, water and coastal management through on-site demonstrations; establishing evidence-based approaches to ICM planning; improved consolidation of results monitoring and information and data required to inform cross-sector R2R planning approaches. This project will also focus attention on harnessing support of traditional community leadership and governance structures to improve the relevance of investment in ICM, including MPAs, from ‘community to cabinet’.
To achieve its objective, the project focusses on five components:
- Component 1. National Demonstrations to Support R2R ICM/IWRM Approaches for Island Resilience and Sustainability
- Component 2. Island-based Investments in Human Capital and Knowledge to Strengthen National and Local Capacities for Ridge to Reef ICM/IWRM approaches, incorporating CC adaptation
- Component 3. Mainstreaming of Ridge to Reef ICM/IWRM Approaches into National Development Frameworks
- Component 4. Regional and National ‘Ridge to Reef’ Indicators for Reporting, Monitoring, Adaptive Management and Knowledge Management
- Component 5. Ridge-to-Reef Regional and National Coordination
Fourteen countries participate in the Regional R2R project. They include the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. Through this project there are regionally implemented activities as well demonstration activities in each country which are led by respective national executing agencies.
The Regional R2R (PIMS #5221) is implemented through the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC). A mid Term Review was conducted in March 2019. A first extension was granted until September 1, 2021 and recently, a second extension until March 1, 2022. The project started on the 1 September 2015 and is in its 6th year of implementation.
Through a grant of Global Environment Facility (GEF) of USD 10,317,454, the project was initially implemented over a period of 5 years. The total co-financing commitment from partners amounting to USD87,708,160.
Since the global Covid-19 pandemic has escalated into a global humanitarian and socio-economic crisis in the first quarter of 2020, the Pacific region was amongst those affected and currently national governments of the 14 participating countries have travel restrictions ongoing as a necessary measure to mitigate the spread of the virus. Both international and local travels are 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 countries are expected to undergo a 14-day quarantine period (in isolation) before they are allowed to move freely. In 2020, there were lockdown periods, with national government priorities focused on a Corvid 19 response strategic plans. Covid-19 severely affected the project implementation from 2020 until to-date.
Duties and Responsibilities
- TE PURPOSE
The TE will focus on the delivery of the project’s results as initially planned (and as corrected after the mid-term evaluation, if any such correction took place). It will look at impact and sustainability of results, including the contribution to capacity development and the achievement of global environmental benefits/goals, regional and national goals including recommendations for follow-up activities.
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, 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 as per the approved project document and corresponding updated logframe),
- 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). The SRPD is a UNDP specific strategy which supports 14 Pacific Island countries achieve national priorities and sustainable development. It is linked to regional and international frameworks. The UNPS represent a collective efforts of UN agencies to.
- assess the positive and negative effects of the project on local populations (e.g. income generation/job creation, improved natural resource management arrangements with local groups, improvement in policy framework for resource allocation and distribution, regeneration of natural resource for long term sustainability);
- Assess the extent which the project outcomes have contributed to better preparations to cope with disasters or mitigate risk, and or addressed climate change mitigation and adaptation as relevant
- Assess the extent to which poor, indigenous, persons with disabilities and other disadvantaged or marginalised groups benefitted from this project;
- Assess the effectiveness and quality of gender related results contributed by the project using the Gender Results Effectiveness Scale (GRES)
- examination on the use of funds and value for money
- 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.
Scope of Work
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 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 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 (*), and 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 (*), 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 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.
The TE report will include an Evaluation Ratings Table, as shown below:
ToR Table 2: Evaluation Ratings Table for Regional R2R Project
|Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E)||Rating|
|M&E design at entry|
|M&E Plan Implementation|
|Overall Quality of M&E|
|Implementation & Execution||Rating|
|Quality of UNDP Implementation/Oversight|
|Quality of Implementing Partner Execution|
|Overall quality of Implementation/Execution|
|Assessment of Outcomes||Rating|
|Overall Project Outcome Rating|
|Institutional framework and governance|
|Overall Likelihood of Sustainability|
Expected Outputs and Deliverables.
|1||TE Inception Report||TE team clarifies objectives, methodology and timing of the TE||By 16 October||TE team submits Inception Report to Commissioning Unit and project management|
|2||Presentation||Initial Findings||End of TE mission: 30 October||TE team presents to Commissioning Unit and project management|
|3||Draft TE Report||Full draft report (using guidelines on report content in ToR Annex C) with annexes||Within 3 weeks of end of TE mission: 10 November||TE team submits to Commissioning Unit; reviewed by BPPS-GEF RTA, Project Coordinating Unit and Regional Program Coordination Group|
|5||Final TE Report* + Audit Trail||Revised final report and TE Audit trail in which the TE details how all received comments have (and have not) been addressed in the final TE report (See template in ToR Annex H)||Within 1 week of receiving comments on draft report: 05 January 2022||TE team submits both documents to the Commissioning Unit|
 Outcomes, Effectiveness, Efficiency, M&E, I&E Execution, Relevance are rated on a 6-point rating scale: 6 = Highly Satisfactory (HS), 5 = Satisfactory (S), 4 = Moderately Satisfactory (MS), 3 = Moderately Unsatisfactory (MU), 2 = Unsatisfactory (U), 1 = Highly Unsatisfactory (HU). Sustainability is rated on a 4-point scale: 4 = Likely (L), 3 = Moderately Likely (ML), 2 = Moderately Unlikely (MU), 1 = Unlikely (U)
- Professionalism: Ability to perform a “broad range of administrative functions e.g budget/work programme, human resources, data base management, etc. Ability to apply knowledge of various United Nations administrative, financial and human resources rules and regulations in work situations. Experience and knowledge in technical cooperation programme implementation.
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills;
- Openness to change and ability to receive/integrate feedback;
- Ability to plan, organize, implement and report on work;
- Ability to work under pressure and tight deadlines;
- 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
- At least a Master’s degree (MA or MSc. or higher) in natural resource governance, IWRM, ICM and development studies or closely related field.
- At least 15 years’ experience in evaluating international cooperation projects promoting the Ridge to Reef or integrated ecosystems management approaches, integrated water resources management (IWRM), integrated coastal zone management (ICZM), natural resources governance or similar programs and projects.
- Extensive experience in conducting reviews and evaluation following the result-based management evaluation methodologies.
- Experience applying SMART indicators and reconstructing or validating baseline scenarios.
- Competence in adaptive management, as applied to climate change adaptation projects and ecosystems management.
- Experience working in Asia-Pacific region and has a good understanding of the environment and sustainable development in the Pacific;
- Work experience in relevant technical areas for at least 10 years;
- Demonstrated understanding of issues related to biodiversity conservation, climate change, land degradation, sustainable forest management, international waters, including experience in gender sensitive evaluation and analysis.
- Excellent communication skills;
- Demonstrable analytical skills;
- Experience working with the GEF or GEF-evaluations methodology, preferred;
- Project evaluation/review experiences within United Nations system will be considered an asset;