Consultancy for WWF GEF MAR2R Midterm Evaluation

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)

Tegucigalpa, Honduras 🇭🇳

Overview

Introduction and Project Overview

World Wildlife Fund, Inc. (WWF) policies and procedures for all GEF financed full-sized projects require midterm evaluation (MTE) and the identification of relevant recommendations. The following terms of reference (TOR) sets out the expectations for the MTE for the project: Integrated Ridge to Reef Management of the Mesoamerican Reef Ecoregion (MAR2R), hereafter referred to as the “Project.” The technical consultant selected to conduct this evaluation will hereafter be referred to as “evaluator.”

The Project seeks to support regional collaboration for integrated ridge to reef management of the MAR ecoregion by demonstrating its advantages and improving regional, national, and local capacities for

integrated management and governance of its freshwater, coastal, and marine resources. The project has four interrelated components designed to scale up existing baseline programs to address key threats and barriers to the integrated management and conservation of the MAR. The Project was organized into the following components:

  • Strengthen resource governance and regional collaboration for integrated ridge to reef management;
  • Integrated ridge to reef management of watersheds and freshwater resources;
  • Integrated ridge to reef management of coastal and marine resources; and
  • Project monitoring and evaluation, and knowledge sharing.

Scope and Objective for the evaluation

WWF is seeking an independent consultancy to undertake a Midterm Evaluation (MTE) of the Project. The scope of the MTE will cover the GEF financed components. 

The objective of this MTE is to examine the extent, magnitude and sustainability for project results to date; identify any opportunities to improve project design; assess progress towards project outcomes and outputs; and draw lessons learned that can improve the project effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of project benefits.  Based on this assessment, it is expected that the evaluator will provide feasible recommendations that could be applied for the remaining duration of the project.

An MTE has already been conducted under challenging circumstances in 2020, and this new MTE shares the above purpose and scope, with additional interviews and data collection, the identification of relevant recommendations, as well as the review of the preliminary findings of that MTE.

Responsibilities

Evaluation approach and method

The evaluation will adhere to the relevant guidance, rules and procedures established by WWF[1] and align with guidance from the GEF Terminal Evaluation[2] and Ethical Guidelines.[3] The evaluation must provide evidence‐based information that is independent, participatory, transparent[4], and ethical. The evaluator must be unbiased and free of any conflicts of interest with the project. The evaluator is expected to reflect all stakeholder views and follow a participatory, inclusive and consultative approach. There should be close engagement with WWF GEF Agency (IA), government counterparts, the GEF operational focal points in each country, CCAD as the Executing Agency (EA) / project management unit (PMU), partners and key stakeholders. Contact information will be provided.

The Evaluation process will include the following, with deliverables marked by “*”:

  • Inception meeting with WWF, CCAD, and Project Steering Committee to gather input from select project stakeholders on evaluation approach, to agree on methodology, and to inform the inception report;
  • Desk review, including but not limited to the following documents:
    • Project Document and CEO Endorsement Letter;
    • Support Mission Reports;
    • Annual Work Plans (AWP) and Budgets;
    • Project Progress Reports (PPR) including Results Framework and AWP Tracking;
    • Inputs from original MTE, including interview transcripts, original evaluation debrief and draft report with consolidated feedback.
  • A succinct inception report* in English that outlines evaluation approach and methodology (will be reviewed by EA and IA);
  • Key informant interviews to include members of the executing agency, members of the steering committee, members from WWF-US and implementing agency (IA) and any additional stakeholders deemed relevant to include by above project stakeholders. The exact number of interviews will be determined in the inception report and will be relative to any other data collection method utilized and the compressed timeframe of this exercise.[5] Focus groups may include Project Steering Committee, thematic champions and platform/alliance leaders. Ensuring participation in interviews, focus groups and workshops to ensure all stakeholder voices are heard is essential;
  • To be determined during the inception phase, additional data collection methods may be triangulated with the KIIs, however this will need to be carefully considered relative to what is realistic, necessary, and efficient. This will be determined in consultation with IA, EA and Evaluation Manager. Examples of additional methods include a survey for key stakeholders enumerated online, and/or a participatory workshop for collective opinion sharing and analysis;
  • Debrief and presentation* of initial findings to select project stakeholders (e.g. the EA, PMU, PSC and GEF Agency) for feedback and final data collection. Feedback log requested to record responses to comments received;
  • Draft MTE report in English and Spanish* shared with select project stakeholders for review and feedback. A sample outline is provided and will be agreed at inception phase; and
  • Final MTE report* that has addressed any inaccuracies and taken into consideration any feedback and comments. This report should be prepared in English. Note that WWF GEF Agency Management Response and CCAD Review Response will be annexed to report submitted to GEF.

The WWF methodology for conducting project evaluations is a key element of our adaptive management approach. Typically, the MTE is framed using seven (7) core criteria of relevance, coherence, effectiveness, efficiency, results/impact, and adaptive capacity, where relevant and feasible, (for which definitions and templates are annexed in this ToR). However, for the second round of the MTE, (potential for) impact is not to be included, unless particular findings become apparent and useful to share.

Another key consideration for the MTE methodology is existing stakeholder sensitivities of preliminary evaluation findings. Given this, the method refinement during the inception period will consider what would best support establishing credibility and legitimacy for the MTE with key project stakeholder input to inform the process.

Expected Outputs of Evaluation Report

The Midterm Evaluation report will include:

  1. Information on the evaluation, including when the evaluation took place, participants and key questions.
  2. Key findings by core criteria.[6] Should interrogate preliminary findings already identified, include identification of progress made, key strengths, successes, challenges and shortcomings;
  3. Rating Summary Table with ratings for Outcomes, Risks to Sustainability, Implementation, Execution, M&E design and M&E implementation;
  4. Analysis of risks to the sustainability of project outcomes;
  5. Review of Monitoring and Evaluation systems: design and implementation;
  6. Previous MTE assessment on gender responsive measures may be adopted, supplemented with further assessment of stakeholder engagement;
  7. Include previous MTE assessment findings and conclusions on whether appropriate environmental and social safeguards were taken during design and implementation; and inclusion of new assessments /monitoring/ plans or reports relating to environmental and social safeguards as necessary;
  8. Assessment of WWF GEF Agency, PMU and project partners;
  9. Lessons learned regarding: project design, objectives, and technical approach; use of adaptive management; administration and governance arrangements; relevance; implementation of the work plan; achievement of impact; environmental and social safeguards, etc.;
  10. Conclusions, and recommendations that include practical and short-term corrective actions per evaluation criteria to address issues and findings; recommendations on best communication and support practices, best practices towards achieving project outcomes and replication for other projects of similar scope.

[1] For additional information on evaluation methods adopted by WWF, see the WWF Evaluation Guidelines , published on our WWF Program Standards public website.

[2] For additional information on the GEF Terminal Evaluation Guidelines, see the GEF Terminal Evaluation Guidelines , published on the GEF Evaluation Office website.

[3] Please see the GEF Ethical Guidelines as published on GEF website.

[4] Please note that some company information may be sensitive and cannot be made public. The Evaluator will be notified ahead of time what information is sensitive.

[5] It is estimated the number of KIIs will around 25.  Focus groups may be used to interview multiple individuals at once, where applicable.

[6] See annex A

Qualifications

Desired Qualifications

  • Minimum 15 years of relevant professional experience (e.g. as a lead or member of an evaluation team);
  • Experience with GEF financed projects and knowledge of GEF Monitoring and Evaluation policies;
  • Experience with participatory evaluation, social assessments, and both quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods;
  • Experience in the region and familiarity with intergovernmental organizations, particularly CCAD / SICA.
  • Technical knowledge related to the project (e.g. integrated watershed management, International Waters GEF Focal Area, etc.) is an asset;
  • Familiarity with Conservation Standards or WWF Project and Programme Management Standards, including emphasis on theory of change is an asset;
  • Knowledge and experience implementing or reviewing application of social and environmental safeguards policies in GEF (or similar) projects preferred;
  • Fluent in written and spoken English and Spanish;

Payment Modalities and Specifications

Payment, expense reimbursement, and other contractual terms and conditions are outlined in the consultant agreement made between WWF and the evaluator(s). Payments are according to deliverables submitted. Twenty-five percent of payment will correspond with completion of Inception Report and data collection tools. Fifty percent of payment will correspond with submission and approval of the Draft Report. The final twenty-five percent will be delivered with the submission and approval of the Final Report.

Application process

Applicants are requested to e-mail their applications to [email protected]  by August 27, 2021. Consultants are invited to submit a technical proposal and financial proposal with their curriculum vitae. The price offer should include total fee and expenses (e.g. travel costs) and should not exceed USD $25,000. The selection of candidates and contractual agreements will be in compliance with WWF procurement policies[1] and subject to GEF requirements.

WWF applies a fair and transparent selection process that will take into account the competencies/skills of the applicants as well as their financial proposals. Women and members of social minorities are encouraged to apply.

For full TOR including annexes: please visit: https://docs.google.com/document/d/16DZ6BXONmErL9zoeeUi5is39dHyP1lmU/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=101431196757707270045&rtpof=true&sd=true

[1] WWF Procurement Policy

Please send applications to [email protected] by August 27th, 2021.


POSITION TYPE

ORGANIZATION TYPE

EXPERIENCE-LEVEL

LANGUAGE REQUIRED