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Title

Consultant: International Evaluator for Mid-Term Project Evaluation

Posted
Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Nature Conservation, Ecology, GIS
Location
Type Temporary / Contract / Seasonal
Status Full Time
Level Senior Level
Deadline 23/04/2010
Company Name United Nations Development Program
Contact Name Human Resources
Website Further Details / Applications
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Directory Entry : 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 them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. For environmental jobs with UNDP visit their website. Or for more environmental jobs search environmentjobs.com
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Description
The goal of the present project is to achieve ecosystem stability on degraded land in Karakalpakstan and the Kyzylkum desert in Uzbekistan, thus reversing the spread of deserts, increasing carbon sequestration, enhancing habitats for biodiversity and achieving public health and socio-economic benefits, on a sustainable basis. It will contribute to this goal by testing, evaluating and promoting innovative solutions to the problems of land degradation, particularly mobile sands, at a pilot scale in the selected localities of Kyzyl Rovat and Kazakhdarya, and other pilot sites of the project on an area of about 500 ha of degraded lands. This project is a part of the Central Asian Countries Initiative for Land Management (CACILM).
  • Outcome 1: Plant species, having both strong ecological and economic benefits for succession in desert and semi-desert ecosystems identified and sustainable land management methods tested;
  • Outcome 2: Mobile sands stabilized and degraded land rehabilitated in partnership with local communities;
  • Outcome 3: Institutional and policy framework for integrated land use planning and management, strengthened;
  • Outcome 4: Monitoring and evaluation, learning and adaptive management, implemented.
The national implementing agency is the Main Forestry Department, Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources of Uzbekistan. Detailed information about the project can be found at: http: //www.undp.uz/projects/project.php?id=123

Objective of the Mid-Term Evaluation

The main objective of this Mid-Term Evaluation is to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of project activities in relation to the stated objective and to produce plausible recommendations on how to improve the project management practices during the remaining two years of the project (scheduled completion in January 2012). The Mid-term Evaluation serves as an agent of change and plays a critical role in supporting accountability. Its main objectives are:
  • to strengthen the adaptive management and monitoring functions of the project;
  • to ensure accountability for the achievement of the project’s objective of improving the sustainability of land management and delivering global benefits;
  • to enhance organizational and development learning;
  • to enable informed decision – making.

Particular emphasis should be put on the current project results and the possibility of achieving all the objectives in the given timeframe, taking into consideration the speed, at which the project is proceeding.
The mid-term evaluation is to be undertaken in accordance with the UNDP/GEF Monitoring and Evaluation Policy: (http://www.undp.org/gef/05/monitoring/policies.html).

 

Duties and Responsibilities

 A team of independent consultants (2) will conduct the evaluation. This team will be composed of one International Consultant or Team Leader and one National Consultant.

Specifically, the International Evaluator/ Team Leader  will perform the following tasks:
  • Lead and manage the mid-term evaluation mission;
  • Design the detailed mid-term evaluation scope and methodology (including the methods for data collection and analysis);
  • Assist in drafting terms of reference of the national consultant;
  • Decide the division of labour within the mid-term evaluation team;
  • Conduct an analysis of the outcome, outputs and partnership strategy;
  • Draft related parts of the mid-term evaluation report; and
  • Finalize the whole mid-term evaluation report.

The National Consultant, to be recruited separately, will provide input in reviewing all project documentation and will provide the International Consultant with a compilation of information prior to the mid-term evaluation mission.
 
Issues to be addressed by the Mid-Term Evaluation

The mid-term evaluation should assess:

  • Project concept and design, reviewing problems/issues addressed by the project and the project strategy, considering appropriateness of the objectives, planned outputs, activities and inputs as compared to cost-effective alternatives.
  • Implementation of the project in terms of progress towards project results, quality and timeliness of inputs and efficiency and effectiveness of activities carried out.
  • Project outputs, outcomes and impacts achieved by the project as well as the likely sustainability of project results.
  • This should encompass an assessment of the achievement of the outcomes and the contribution to attaining the overall objective of the project, inclusion of relevant stakeholders.
The Mid-term Evaluation will also cover the following aspects:

1.    Changes in development conditions, with a focus on the perception of change among stakeholders:
Measurement of change: Progress towards results should be based on a comparison of indicators before and after the project intervention.

Project strategy: how and why outputs and strategies contribute to the achievement of the expected results.
Sustainability: Extent to which the benefits of the project will continue, within or outside the project domain, after the project has come to an end.

2.     Project’s Adaptive Management Framework

(a) Monitoring Systems

  • Assess the monitoring tools currently being used:
  • Ensure the monitoring system, including performance indicators, at least meets GEF minimum requirements.   

(b) Risk Management

  • Validate whether the risks identified in the project document and PIR are the most important and whether the risk ratings applied are appropriate. If not, explain why. Describe any additional risks identified and suggest risk ratings and possible risk management strategies to be adopted;
  • Assess how the project’s risk identification and management systems are applied and can further be strengthened.

(c) Work Planning

  • Assess the use of the logical framework as a management tool during implementation and any changes made to it.
  • Are work planning processes result-based?  If not, suggest ways to improve work planning;
  • Consider financial management of the project, with specific reference to the cost-effectiveness of interventions. 

(d) Reporting

  • Assess how adaptive management changes have been reported by the project management;
  • Assess how lessons derived from the adaptive management process have been documented, shared with key partners and internalized by partners.
3. Underlying Factors
  • Assess the underlying factors beyond the project’s immediate control that influence outcomes and results.  Consider the appropriateness and effectiveness of the project’s management strategies for these factors;
  • Review the assumptions made by the project management and identify new assumptions that should be made;
  • Assess the effect of any incorrect assumptions made by the project.
4. UNDP Contribution
  • Assess the role of UNDP against the requirements set out in the UNDP Handbook on Monitoring and Evaluating for Results.  Consider:
  • Field visits
  • Steering Committee/TOR follow-up and analysis
  • PIR preparation and follow-up
  • GEF guidance
  • Assess contribution to the project from UNDP “soft” assistance (i.e. policy advice & dialogue, advocacy, and coordination). 
5. Partnership Strategy
  • Assess how partners are involved in the project’s adaptive management framework:
  • Involving partners and stakeholders in the selection of indicators and other measures of performance
  • Using already existing data and statistics
  • Analyzing progress towards results and determining project strategies.
  • Assess how local stakeholders participate in project management and decision-making; Include an analysis of strengths and weaknesses of the approach adopted by the project and suggestions for improvement if necessary;
Methodological framework

The mid-term  evaluation must provide evidence-based information that is credible, reliable and useful. It must be easily understood by project partners and applicable to the remaining duration of the project. 
The mid-term evaluation should provide as much gender disaggregated data as possible.
The methodology to be used by the mid-term evaluator should be provided in detail. It should include information on:

  • Documentation review (desk study) and field visits;
  • Interviews and questionnaires should be held with the following organizations and individuals at minimum: UNDP Uzbekistan, UNDP/GEF RTA from Bratislava, Project Team, The National Project Coordinator International Advisor, CACILM, Project Board Members, Leaders and members of local communities cooperating with project;
  • Participatory techniques and other relevant approaches for the gathering and analysis of data.
  • The Mid Term Evaluator would also provide ratings of Project achievements according to GEF Project Review Criteria. 
The report shall be submitted to Head of Environment and Energy Unit, UNDP Uzbekistan. Prior to approval of the final report, a draft version shall be circulated for comments to UNDP-GEF team (inc. UNDP BRC, Slovakia, UNDP CO Uzbekistan), Project Manager and government counterparts, including: National Project Coordinator.
   
Expected Key Outputs:    
 
Activity and Deliveries Timeframe    
Mission preparation:  review of supporting documents, drafting evaluation methodology. Work plan, mission agenda and report outline submitted 4 days    
Mission – 1st phase: Visits to the field, interviews, questionnaires, de-briefings 10 days    
Mission- 2nd phase: Consolidation of findings, drawing of conclusions, preparing the first draft of the evaluation report, discussion of draft with key stakeholders.
Draft Evaluation Report submitted and comments received from supervisor.  5 days
   
Post mission Wrap-up: Finalization of the mid-term evaluation report (incorporating comments received on first draft.
Final Report submitted and accepted by supervisor. 6 days
 
Key Output
 
The key product expected from this mid-term evaluation is a comprehensive analytical report in English. The length of the mid-term evaluation report shall not exceed 30 pages in total (excluding annexes).
Working Days:
 
The assignment is to commence no later than September 5, 2010 and be completed by October 31 2010.
 
Payment Conditions:

Payment will be released upon satisfactory provision of respective deliverables:
 
1. Work Plan and report outline 20% of total lump sum   
2. Draft Evaluation Report 30% of total lump sum   
3. Final Report 50% of total lump sum  

 

Competencies

  • Knowledge of the UNDP/GEF Monitoring and Evaluation Policy;
  • Competence in Adaptive Management, as applied to natural resource management projects;
  • Hans-on familiarity with land use situation and structures  in Uzbekistan is an asset; 

 

Required Skills and Experience

Education: 

  • Advanced university degree on community-based natural resources use management or similar   

Experience: 

  • 10 years of work experience in UNDP/GEF projects’ evaluation in relevant areas of development;
  • Experience applying SMART indicators and reconstructing or validating baseline scenarios;   

Language Requirements: 

  • Proficiency in English, knowledge of Russian is an advantage.
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