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CONSULTANT: Mid-Term Evaluation of CACILM: CPP “Demonstrating Sustainable Mountain Pasture Management in the Suusamyr Valley, Kyrgyzstan” project

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Water, Hydrology & Marine Ecology
Nature Conservation, Ecology, GIS
Type Temporary / Contract / Seasonal
Status Full Time
Level Senior Level
Deadline 11/07/2010
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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The “Demonstrating Sustainable Mountain Pasture Management in the Suusamyr Valley, Kyrgyzstan” project which is under the Central Asia Countries Initiative on Land Management (CACILM): Country Pilot Partnerships (CPP) umbrella funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) grant of US$950,00, was signed in December 2007 between the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The goal of this project is functional integrity of mountain rangelands in the highlands of Kyrgyzstan as a contribution to greater ecosystem stability reduced soil erosion and enhanced food security. The objective of the project is to develop in the Suusamyr Valley a cost-effective and replicable pasture management mechanism which reduces the negative effects of livestock grazing on land and which improves rural livelihoods.

The project is designed to produce four outcomes:

Outcome 1. A set of innovative pilot measures which have been designed and validated for demonstrating the feasibility and profitability of sustainable rangeland management

This outcome will be achieved through a number of pilot measures, which will lead to enhanced management of village and roadside pastures and will promote the return to transhumance. To this end, the project will support local communities in setting-up a grazing plan for using pastures in a more efficient and hence in a sustainable way. Main

Outputs in support of this Outcome include:

1.1 Knowledge of the potential of the rangeland for livestock grazing in different parts of Suusamyr Valley;

1.2 Grazing plan for village pastures that has been developed and introduced in a participatory manner;

1.3 Basic infrastructure necessary for grazing at distant places;

1.4 Feed production (cultivation of fodder plants) introduced and promoted.

1.5 Storage of hay and other feed for supplementary feeding in winter promoted.

1.6 Improved shelters/stables which allow livestock to stay there longer during the cold season (avoidance of early grazing).

1.7 Village and roadside pastures improved with forage plants and fertilizer.

1.8 Enhanced marketing channels for livestock and livestock products.

Outcome 2. Capacity and awareness of rural communities and local governments for monitoring, planning and regulating the use of pastures in a sustainable way

Considering the fact that most of the present-day stock farming is carried out by people with no history in the farming sector the project will pays special attention to build both local government and local community capacity through a series of training and experience sharing among farmers. The project will also promote establishment of a local institutions and its capacity building for a sustainable grazing management.

The key outputs will include:

2.1 Pasture User Association (PUA) founded to advocate for the interests of herders and livestock owners;

2.2 Farmers and livestock owners trained in professional livestock and rangeland management;

2.3 Decision-makers fully aware of the negative environmental impacts of poor livestock husbandry;

2.4 Greater responsibility of local governments for rangeland management.

Outcome 3. An enabling environment which allows rangeland users to effectively and sustainably manage pastures

Building on the local level capacity building and the project will create an institutional and regulatory framework that will ensure practical implementation of Pasture management on the ground. The PM mechanism will result in a practical set of rules that will fall within the mandate and legal remit of the Suusamyr AO and local community, as primary institutional scheme for Sustainable Pasture Management Mechanism.

The following outputs are proposed to fulfill the expected reform and capacity building interventions:

3.1 Clearly defined institutional roles and responsibilities at national and local level;

3.2 Participatory designed leasing system for rangeland;

3.3 Economic incentives for leasing rangeland distant from home villages;

3.4 Conflict resolution/arbitration system;

3.5 Access to micro-credits;

3.6 Legal framework reflecting the challenges of modern pasture management;

3.7 Detailed proposals for institutional reforms.

Outcome 4. Learning, evaluation, and adaptive management.

This Outcome relates to overall project management, steering, reporting and evaluation as well as to capture and dissemination of lessons and best practices associated with project objectives and components. Project reporting on all activities and outputs (along with periodic reviews of the project work-plan and budget), and Project evaluation will follow standard UNDP and GEF requirements with particular emphasis being placed on ensuring that indicators are measuring satisfactory and sustainable project success.

Outputs will include:

4.1 Project management;

4.2 Experiences with measures against overgrazing in high altitudes evaluated;

4.3 Outputs and activities adapted continuously according to achievements and failures of the project;

4.4 The project’s performance is monitored and evaluated;

4.5 Project results and lessons learnt disseminated for replication.


The Mid term evaluation (MTE) is initiated by UNDP Country Office Kyrgyzstan in line with the UNDP-GEF Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) guidelines in order to assess the overall project progress, make sure the project is on track to deliver the agreed outcomes, and produce recommendations on any adjustments needed.

The purposes of the MTE are:

(i) To assess overall performance against the project objective and outcomes as set out in the Project Document, project’s Logical Framework, and other related documents;

(ii) To assess the effectiveness and efficiency of the project;

(iii) To analyze critically the implementation and management arrangements of the project;

(iv) To assess the progress to date towards achievement of the outcomes;

(v) To review planned strategies and plans for achieving the overall objective of the project within the timeframe;

(vi) To assess the sustainability of the project’s interventions;

(vii) To list and document initial lessons concerning project design, implementation and management ,;

(viii) To assess project relevance to national priorities (including achieving gender equality goals);

(ix) To provide guidance for the future project activities and, if necessary, for the implementation and management arrangements.

In brief the purpose of the evaluation is to assess the progress that has been achieved in the first half of the implementing phase of

the project, according to UNDP/GEF guidelines and to draw lesson so far so that we could improve on the process.

Project performance will be measured based on Project’s Logical Framework Matrix (see Annex 3 of the detailed ToR), which provides clear performance and impact indicators for project implementation along with their corresponding means of verification. Success and failure will be determined in part by monitoring changes in baseline conditions.

Recommendation of the evaluation should also include follow gender criteria:

  • Are women and men involved into project activity equally?
  • Is the project maintaining a positive gender equality situation in improving national policy and regulatory framework for mainstreaming biodiversity into fishery sector?
  • Is the project enhancing visibility and awareness of gender-related issues in improving livelihoods of the Suusamyr valley?
  • Will the project benefit to women and men equally?
The evaluation team is expected to work with key project stakeholders, including UNDP Country Office in Kyrgyzstan, Department of Pastures under the Ministry of Agriculture of the Kyrgyz Republic, Suusamyr Aiyl Okmotu (LSG), “Suusamyr” Pasture Users Public Association, Public Foundation “Central Asian Mountain Partnership Alatoo”, women NGOs and Civil Society Organizations.


Duties and Responsibilities

The evaluation will focus on the range of aspects described below. In addition to a descriptive assessment, all criteria marked with (R) should be rated using the following divisions: Highly Satisfactory, Satisfactory, Marginally Satisfactory, Marginally Unsatisfactory, Unsatisfactory, Highly Unsatisfactory. All ratings given should be properly substantiated:       

1. Project concept/design, relevance and strategy

1.1 Project relevance, country ownership/drivenness (R): the extent to which the project is suited to local and national development priorities and organizational policies, including changes over time as well as the extent the activities contribute towards attainment of global environmental benefits:

  • Is the project concept in line with the sectoral and development priorities and plans of the country, including MDGs?
  • Are project outcomes contributing to national development priorities and plans?
  • How and why project outcomes and strategies contribute to the achievement of the expected results.
  • Examine their relevance and whether they provide the most effective way towards results.
  • Do the outcomes developed during the inception phase still represent the best project strategy for achieving the project objectives (in light of updated underlying factors)? Consider alternatives.
  • Were the relevant country representatives, from government and civil society, involved in the project preparation?
  • Does the recipient government maintain its financial commitment to the project? Has the government approved policies or regulatory frameworks in line with the project’s objectives?
1.2 Preparation and readiness:
  • Are the project’s objective and components clear, practicable and feasible within its timeframe?
  • Were the capacities of executing institution and counterparts properly considered when the project was designed?
  • Were lessons from other relevant projects properly incorporated in the project design?
  • Were the partnership arrangements properly identified and the roles and responsibilities negotiated prior to project approval?
  • Were counterpart resources (funding, staff, and facilities), enabling legislation, and adequate project management arrangements in place at project entry?
1.3 Stakeholder involvement (R):
  • Did the project involve the relevant stakeholders through information-sharing, consultation and by seeking their participation in the project’s design?
  • Did the project consult and make use of the skills, experience and knowledge of the appropriate government entities, NGOs, community groups (including women’s and youth groups), private sector, local governments and academic institutions in the design of project activities?
1.4 Underlying factors/assumptions:
  • 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.
  • Re-test 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 projec
1.5 Management arrangements (R):
  • Were the project roles properly assigned during the project design?
  • Are the project roles in line with UNDP and GEF programming guidelines?

c. Can the management arrangement model suggested by the project be considered as an optimum model? If no, please come up with suggestions and recommendations.

1.6 Project budget and duration (R):
  • Assess if the project budget and duration were planned in a cost-effective way?
1.7 Design of project M&E system (R):
  • Examine whether or not the project has a sound M&E plan to monitor results and track progress towards achieving project objectives.
  • Examine whether or not the M&E plan includes a baseline (including data, methodology, etc.), SMART indicators and data analysis systems, and evaluation studies at specific times to assess results and adequate funding for M&E activities.
  • Examine whether or not M&E plan includes gender-sensitive and gender-disaggregated indicators for tracking progress on achieving gender equality corporative goals.
  • Examine whether or not the time frame for various M&E activities and standards for outputs are specified.
1.8 Sustainability:
  • Assess if project sustainability strategy was developed during the project design?
  • Assess the relevance of project sustainability strategy
2. Project implementation
2.1 Project’s adaptive management (R):
  • Monitoring systems
  • Assess the monitoring tools currently being used:
  • Do they provide the necessary information?
  • Do they involve key partners?
  • Are they efficient?
  • Are additional tools required?
  • Assess the use of the logical framework as a management tool during implementation and any changes made to it.
  • What impact did the retro-fitting of impact indicators have on project management, if such?
  • Assess whether or not M&E system facilitates timely tracking of progress towards project’s objectives by collecting information on chosen indicators continually; annual project reports are complete, accurate and with well justified ratings; the information provided by the M&E system is used to improve project performance and to adapt to changing needs.
b. Risk Management
  • Validate whether the risks identified in the project document and PIRs 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 the project’s risk identification and management systems:
  • Is the UNDP-GEF Risk Management System appropriately applied?
  • How can the UNDP-GEF Risk Management System be used to strengthen the project management?
c. Work Planning
  • Assess the use of routinely updated work plans.
  • Assess the use of electronic information technologies to support implementation, participation and monitoring, as well as other project activities.
  • Are work planning processes result-based ? If not, suggest ways to re-orientate work planning.
d. Financial management
  • Consider the financial management of the project, with specific reference to the cost-effectiveness of interventions. (Cost-effectiveness: the extent to which results have been delivered with the least costly resources possible.). Any irregularities must be noted.
  • Is there due diligence in the management of funds and financial audits?
  • Did promised co-financing materialize (please fill out the co-financing form provided in Annex 1)?
e. 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.
f. Delays
  • Assess if there were delays in project implementation and what were the reasons.
  • Did the delay affect the achievement of project’s outcomes and/or sustainability, and if it did then in what ways and through what causal linkages?
2.2 Contribution of Implementing and Executing Agencies:

b. Assess the role of UNDP and the State Agency on Environment Protection and Forestry under the government of the Kyrgyz Republic against the requirements set out in the UNDP Programme and Operations Policies and Procedures. Consider:

  • Field visits;
  • Participation in Steering Committees;
  • Project reviews, PIR preparation and follow-up;
  • GEF guidance;
  • Operational support.

c. Consider the new UNDP requirements outlined in the UNDP Programme and Operations Policies and Procedures, especially the Project Assurance role, and ensure they are incorporated into the project’s adaptive management framework.

d. Assess the contribution to the project from UNDP and Suusamyr Aiyl Okmotu (LSG) and Jaiyl Raion Administration assistance (i.e. policy advice & dialogue, advocacy, and coordination).

e. Suggest measures to strengthen UNDP’s soft assistance to the project management.

2.3 Stakeholder participation, partnership strategy (R): 
  • Assess whether or not and how local stakeholders participate in project management and decision-making. Include an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the approach adopted by the project and suggestions for improvement if necessary.
  • Does the project consult and make use of the skills, experience and knowledge of the appropriate government entities, NGOs, community groups, private sector, local governments and academic institutions in the implementation and evaluation of project activities?
  • Consider the dissemination of project information to partners and stakeholders, considering corporative requirements on equal access to information for women and men, and if necessary suggest more appropriate mechanisms.
  • Identify opportunities for stronger partnerships.
2.4 Sustainability:
  • Assess the extent to which the benefits of the project will continue, within or outside the project scope, after it has come to an end; commitment of the government to support the initiative beyond the project.
  • The evaluators may look at factors such as mainstreaming project objectives into the broader development policies and sectoral plans and economies.

The sustainability assessment will give special attention to analysis of the risks that are likely to affect the persistence of project outcomes. The sustainability assessment should also explain how other important contextual factors that are not outcomes of the project will affect sustainability. The following four dimensions or aspects of sustainability will be addressed:

  • Financial resources: Are there any financial risks that may jeopardize sustenance of project outcomes? What is the likelihood of financial and economic resources not being available once the GEF assistance ends (resources can be from multiple sources, such as the public and private sectors, income generating activities, and trends that may indicate that it is likely that in future there will be adequate financial resources for sustaining project’s outcomes)?
  • Socio-political: Are there any social or political risks that may jeopardize sustenance 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?
  • Institutional framework and governance: Do the legal frameworks, policies and governance structures and processes pose risks that may jeopardize sustenance of project benefits? While assessing this parameter, also consider if the required systems for accountability and transparency, and the required technical know-how are in place.
  • Environmental: Are there any environmental risks that may jeopardize sustenance of project outcomes? The terminal evaluation should assess whether certain activities will pose a threat to the sustainability of the project outcomes.
  • On each of the dimensions of sustainability of the project outcomes will be rated as follows:
  • Likely (L): There are no or negligible risks that affect this dimension of sustainability.
  • Moderately Likely (ML): There are moderate risks that affect this dimension of sustainability.
  • Moderately Unlikely (MU): There are significant risks that affect this dimension of sustainability
  • Unlikely (U): There are severe risks that affect this dimension of sustainability.
3. Project results (outputs, outcomes and objectives)

3.1 Progress towards achievement of intended outputs, outcomes/measurement of change:

Progress towards results should be based on a comparison of indicators before and after (so far) the project intervention.

To determine the level of achievement of project outcomes and objectives following three criteria should be assessed:

  • Relevance: Are the project’s outcomes consistent with the focal areas/operational program strategies and country priorities?
  • Effectiveness: Are the actual project outcomes commensurate with the original or modified project objectives? In case the original or modified expected results are merely outputs/inputs then the evaluators should assess if there are any real outcomes of the project and if yes then whether these are commensurate with the realistic expectations from such a project.
  • Efficiency: Is the project cost effective? Is the project the least cost option? Is the project implementation delayed and if it is, then does that affect cost-effectiveness? Wherever possible, the evaluator should also compare the cost-time vs. outcomes relationship of the project with that of other similar projects.
  • Outcomes and the whole project should be rated as follows for relevance, effectiveness, efficiency:
  • Highly Satisfactory (HS): The project has no shortcomings in the achievement of its objectives.
  • Satisfactory (S): The project has minor shortcomings in the achievement of its objectives.
  • Marginally Satisfactory (MS): The project has moderate shortcomings in the achievement of its objectives.
  • Marginally Unsatisfactory (MU): The project has significant shortcomings in the achievement of its objectives.
  • Unsatisfactory (U): The project has major shortcomings in the achievement of its objectives.
  • Highly Unsatisfactory (HU): The project has severe shortcomings in the achievement of its objectives.

The evaluation will be undertaken by a team composed of an International Consultant (Team Leader) and a Local Consultant. They will receive the support of UNDP Country Office and Project Management Team, and will be assisted by a translator/interpreter (when needed).

The International Consultant - Team Leader will be responsible to deliver the expected output of the mission. Specifically, he/she will perform the following tasks:

  • Lead and manage the evaluation mission;
  • Design the detailed evaluation methodology and plan;
  • Conduct desk-reviews, interviews and site-visits in order to obtain objective and verifiable data to substantive evaluation ratings and assessments, including:
  • Assessment of effect of the conducted inventory and evaluation of Suusamyr valley pastures to activity of the Pasture Users Public Association and Suusamyr Aiyl Okmotu (LSG) on sustainable pasture management and planning
  • Validation of the viability of the developed Cattle Grazing Plan;
  • Validation of adequacy and viability of the seed farm for provision of fodder in winter season and veterinary service;
  • Validation of the viability of the Pasture Users Public Association.



  • One international evaluator has been budgeted for this evaluation.
  • The evaluator is required to combine international calibre evaluation expertise, the latest thinking in sustainable land management and Regional experience.
  • The selected evaluator should not have participated in the project preparation and/or implementation and should not have conflict of interest with project related activities.     


Required Skills and Experience

  • Post Graduate Degree in Environment Studies (preferably, specialization in land degradation and pasture management) or related area;
  • Extensive experience and proven track record with policy advice and/or project development/implementation in environment (preferably in land degradation and pasture management) in transition economies;
  • Proven track record of application of results-based approaches to evaluation of projects focusing on in environment/land degradation and pasture management (relevant experience in the CIS region and within UN system would be an asset);
  • Familiarity with priorities and basic principles of pasture management and relevant international best-practices;
  • Knowledge of and recent experience in applying UNDP and GEF M&E policies and procedures;
  • Competence in Adaptive Management, as applied to natural resource management projects;
  • Basic understanding of gender equality concept;
  • Demonstrable analytical and report writing skills;
  • Experience with multilateral or bilateral supported biodiversity projects;
  • Excellent English communication skills, knowledge of Russian would be an asset;
  • Good interpersonal skills.     
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