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International Individual Consultant - Final Programme Evaluation of Joint UNDP – UNEP Poverty Environment Initiative (PEI)- 2013-2018

home based

Background

The Poverty Environment Initiative (PEI) is a joint Global Programme between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Environment, that supports country-driven efforts to mainstream poverty-environment linkages into national, sectoral and district development plans and budgets across 25 countries, regional, and global level projects.

P-E mainstreaming involves establishing the links between environment and poverty, and then identifying which policies, planning and budgeting processes can bring about better pro-poor environmental management to help achieve?? the Sustainable Development goals (SDGs). The PEI provides an important example of UN agency collaboration that has provided and refined a more integrated, programmatic approach to support countries. The focus of PEI work is on capacity development to ‘operationalize’ P-E mainstreaming in development policy frameworks and their implementation.

The PEI scale-up phase 2008-2012 demonstrated economic, social and environmental results from integrating poverty and environmental linkages in development policy, planning and budget processes. The process required a sustained engagement over time to realise direct economic, social and environmental gains. The PEI lessons learned from the first phase were incorporated into the PEI strategy for the period 2013 - 2018 which was based on an enhanced theory of change.

The intended Global Programme Outcome of PEI (2013-2018) is: “Enhanced implementation of development policies, plans and budgets that combine environmental sustainability and poverty reduction to contribute to inclusive and sustainable development goals.” To achieve this Outcome, the 2013-2018 phase of PEI focussed on three key areas, including:

Strengthening outcomes from current country portfolio: Effective P-E mainstreaming requires a concerted programme of support over a 10 to 20-year horizon. The 18 PEI country programmes, and technical support in another 10 countries, were largely all nearing between 2-6 years of PEI support as the beginning of this phase;

Deepening engagement on regional implementation strategies: The establishment of joint UNDP-UNEP PEI regional teams supported effective PEI country implementation and the application of PEI lessons and approaches in the work of UNDP and UN Environment. They also played an important role to leverage funds to support country programmes through linkages with UNDP CO programmes;

Informing the global sustainable development debate: PEI continued to analyse achievements and lessons learned to build on Poverty-Environment-Nexus knowledge and prepare products to influence regional and global development agendas in support of sustainable development.

The main outputs of the 2013-2018 PEI included:

  • P-E approaches and tools for integrated development policies, plans and coordination mechanisms applied;
  • Cross-sectoral budget and expenditure processes, and environment-economic accounting systems institutionalised;
  • P-E approached and experience documented and shared to inform country, regional and global development programming by the UN and Member States.

Programme structure and implementation arrangements:

The PEI is a joint UNDP and UNEP programme operating through: 1) joint teams at regional and global levels; 2) a single management agent (UNDP); and 3) a pooled fund (i.e. a single account). The PEI organisation structure consists of country programmes, 4 regional programmes, a global programme facility, a joint institutional board, and two advisory bodies. The country programmes are implemented by joint government-UN PEI country teams (CT), with support from and in coordination with joint UNDP/UNEP regional teams (RTs). The Poverty-Environment Facility (PEF), based in Nairobi, provides the overall programme, operations and financial management coordination. The PEF is answerable to and under instructions of the strategic management of the Joint PEI Management Board (JMB), composed of UNDP and UNEP staff members. The PEF and the JMB are supported by the Technical Advisory Group (TAG). Similarly, the PEF and the JMB are accountable and receive important strategic feedback from the Donor Steering Group (DSG), which is composed of all contributing partners to the PEI. The PEI programme document provides more detailed descriptions of this structures and implementation arrangements.

Overall PEI Budget Country-level Budgets:

The total planned budget for PEI between 2013 and 2017 was US$40 million from partners. In addition, UNDP and UNEP proposed to contribute USD 2 million per year per agency for a total of US$20 million to facilitate the implementation of PEI at the global, regional and country level. Planned donor and in-kind contributions for 2013-2017 totalled USD$60 million. The PEI programme document provides more detailed descriptions of the planned budget by Output and year. Figures on actual final overall PEI budgets, as well as detailed country budgets, will be made available to the evaluator during the inception phase.

Building on the internal review conducted in 2016 and the PEI Scale Up Phase (2008-2013) Final Evaluation concluded in 2016, and with the current PEI project coming to an end 31 December 2018, UNDP and UN Environment are now jointly commissioning a final evaluation to draw relevant and pertinent conclusions on the effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of PEI interventions.

Evaluation management Arrangements

The evaluation will be managed by UNDP/BPPS with joint oversight from the UNDP Independent Evaluation Office and UN Environment Evaluation Offices of the evaluation process and products. This entails oversight, review and comments during the key stages of evaluation cycle- finalization of the TORs; selection of the evaluator and review of the inception, draft and final evaluation reports- to ensure full independence of the evaluation process.The Evaluation will be conducted by an independent evaluator who will be recruited and administered through the UNDP BPPS Sustainable Development Cluster. The Evaluator will report to the UNDP BPPS Sustainable Development Cluster, who will provide guidance and ensure satisfactory completion of Final Evaluation deliverables.There will be close coordination with the PEI Co-Directors and joint project team who will assist in connecting the Evaluator with senior management, development partners, beneficiaries and key stakeholders. In addition, the joint project team will provide key documentation prior to fieldwork and assist in developing a detailed programme to facilitate consultations as necessary. The PEI Joint Management Board and Co-Directors will provide insights and other inputs into evaluation deliverables and promote learning and ownership of the evaluation findings and recommendations among PEI stakeholders and partners.

Objectives of Final Evaluation:In assessing implementation of the Global Programme, the evaluation will:

  • Assess the relevance and appropriateness of PEI 2013-2018 in achieving the project outputs and outcomes and their contribution to beneficiaries and UN/UNDP/UN Environment relevant goals;
  • Evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the Project in terms of the design and implementation of activities to achieve outputs and outcomes, integration of cross cutting issues (including gender) and following up/applying lessons learned;
  • Assess the impact and sustainability of project interventions, and the extent to which the approach and implementation of the project has contributed, or is likely to contribute, to sustainable natural resource management and poverty reduction through poverty-environment mainstreaming at country, regional and global levels;
  • Review the project design and management structures, in terms of application of sound project management principles (including that of UNDP as MA implementing the project) to achieve clear objectives and strategies, the use of monitoring and evaluation and data, and the appropriateness of PEI management arrangements;
  • Assess how recommendations from previous evaluations have been considered in the design and implementation of PEI 2013-2018;
  • Make clear and focused recommendations that may be required for enhancing the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability of UN poverty-environment mainstreaming activities and awareness.

Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of Work:

Aligned with the current PEI programme document, the evaluation will cover PEI work carried out between 2013-2018. It will encompass the activities and geographical scope of the PEI programme as a whole at country, regional and global level.In assessing the Project and its alignment to the broader Project Document, the evaluation will take into consideration the following criteria. Overall the questions are aligned with the OECD DAC evaluation criteria (effectiveness, sustainability, relevance, efficiency, and impact) and are provided as a general framework for the final evaluation of PEI and its contributions.

Relevance and Appropriateness:

  • Was the joint project relevant, appropriate and strategic to MDG/SDG indicators, goals and challenges?;
  • What role has the joint project played in the provision of "thought leadership" and in coordinating within the UN system and beyond? Please provide concrete examples and make specific suggestions on how to enhance these roles going forward;
  • What and how much progress has been made towards achieving the overall outputs and outcomes of the joint project (including contributing factors and constraints)?;
  • Was the joint project relevant, appropriate and strategic to the mandate, strategy, functions, roles, and responsibility of the UN entities involved?;
  • Were the inputs and strategies identified realistic, appropriate and adequate to achieve the results?;
  • Was the joint project relevant, appropriate and strategic to the national and relevant donor related policy?.

Effectiveness and Efficiency:

  • How has the joint project contributed to achieving stronger and more coherent integration in the implementation of the post rio+20 agenda and how can lessons learnt be used for the 2030 Agenda? Please provide concrete examples and make specific suggestions on how to enhance these roles going forward;
  • Were the actions to achieve the outputs and outcomes effective and efficient?;
  • What factors have contributed to achieving or not achieving intended outcomes?;
  • To what extent did the joint project’s M&E mechanism(s) contribute to meeting joint project results?;
  • Were there any lessons learned, failures/lost opportunities? What might have been done better or differently?;
  • How did the joint project deal with issues and risks?;
  • Were the outputs achieved in a timely manner?;
  • Were the resources utilized in the best way possible?;
  • Did the resources (time, funding, human resources) justify the costs incurred and were they sufficient?;
  • Were the joint project’s governance mechanisms functioning efficiently?.

Impact and Sustainability:

  • To what extent has the project contributed to the expected project outcomes both at the country and global level as identified in the PEI results and resource framework? This will include an assessment of actual and potential, positive and negative, intended or unintended impact of the Initiative, achieved directly or indirectly;
  • What has been the joint project’s ability to adapt and evolve based on continuous lessons learned and the changing development landscape? Please account for factors both within the UN and external;
  • Will the outputs/outcomes lead to benefits beyond the life of the existing joint project?;
  • Were the actions and result owned by the local partners and stakeholders?;
  • How effective were the exit strategies and approaches to phase out assistance provided by the joint project including contributing factors and constraints?;
  • Was capacity (individuals, institution, and system) built through the actions of the joint project and can it be sustained without further joint project interventions?;
  • What is the level of contribution of the joint project management arrangements to ownership of the set objectives, result and outputs?;
  • Were the modes of deliveries of the outputs appropriate to promote national ownership and sustainability of the result achieved?;
  • Did the joint project contribute to measurable results for sustainable natural resource management and poverty reduction through applying an integrated approach?;
  • Did the joint project sufficiently address cross cutting issues including gender?;
  • What are the key factors that will require attention in order to improve prospects of sustainability or broader dissemination of joint project outcomes/outputs/results?.

Project Design:

  • To what extent did the design of the joint project help or hinder achieving its own goals?;
  • Were the context, problem, needs and priorities well analyzed while designing the joint project?;
  • Were there clear objectives, theory of change and strategy? How were these used in performance management and progress reporting?
  • Were there clear baselines indicators and/or benchmark for performance? How were these used in joint project management, did the joint project apply adaptive management?;
  • Was there coherence and complementarity by the joint project to other actors?;
  • Was there coherence, coordination and complementarity by the joint project with other UN and Donor funded activities?.

Project Management

  • Are the joint project management arrangements appropriate at the team level and project board level?;
  • Did the joint project appropriately apply project management principles and regulations?;
  • Was there appropriate visibility and acknowledgement of the joint project and donors? Please provide concrete examples and make specific suggestions on how to enhance visibility going forward.

Approach and Methodology:

The Final Evaluation will adhere to the principles established in Evaluation Policies of UNDP and UN Environment and the UN Evaluation Group’s Norms and Standards for Evaluation. These should include but are not limited to: independence, impartiality, transparency, ethics, partnerships, credibility and utility. The evaluation will use a theory based approach based on PEI’s abridged Theory of Change. The choice of methods and the proposed evaluation strategy shall be grounded on these theories. Mixed methods, both qualitative and quantitative, should be used to collect data and gather evidence. Country missions will be conducted to selected PEI countries identified during the inception phase of the evaluation. Evaluation findings and judgements should be based on sound evidence and analysis that is triangulated and clearly documented in the evaluation report.

During the evaluation, the consultant is expected to apply the following approaches for data collection, analysis and triangulation of evidence for validation:

  • Desk review of relevant documents including progress reports, various opinion surveys, project evaluations and case studies conducted during the life of the Project;
  • Key informative interviews with relevant Country Offices, relevant national Government counterparts, other UN entities including UNDG, donor partners and UNDP/UN Environment Senior Management and Project Staff;
  • Country missions to two PEI countries- one each in Asia and Africa (which also remain the focus of PEA), identified during the evaluation inception phase. The possible countries in Asia and Africa should exclude countries already evaluated during the PEI scale-up phase evaluation or those that have already completed country level PEI final evaluations. LAC was already evaluated and country level evaluation reports are already available from all current PEI LAC countries, i.e. Peru, Guatemala, and Paraguay. Similarly, of the two countries supported by PEI in ECIS, Kyrgyzstan has already been evaluated. The evaluation reports from these PEI countries will be considered in the desk review stages of this evaluation and in the final analysis; 
  • Data collection as needed to validate evidence of results and assessments (including but not limited to: assessment of TOC, activities delivery, and results/changes occurred);
  • Build on previous country level evaluations and assess progress, also assess how recommendations from the previous global evaluation have been implemented;
  • Briefing and debriefing sessions with the former Joint Management Board (JMB) and Donor Steering Group (DSG);
  • While fully independent in its judgements, the Evaluator will adopt a consultative and transparent approach with internal and external stakeholders. Throughout the process the evaluator will liaise closely with the relevant Programme staff of the UNDP and UNEP, the Joint Management Board, the Co-Directors and other key stakeholders.

Expected Outputs and deliverables:

The consultant is expected to deliver the following outputs:

  • Inception report on proposed evaluation methodology, work plan and proposed structure of the report;
  • A draft preliminary evaluation report and presentation, to be presented at a debriefing meeting with the JMB and DSG;
  • Final report, including a 2-3 page executive summary, a set of limited and strategic recommendations (not to exceed 10 recommendations total), addressing issues raised during presentation of draft.

The Joint Project Final Evaluation Report should include the following in its structure:

  • Executive Summary;
  • Introduction (including context, scope, methodology and limitations);
  • Key Strategic Findings and Conclusions. Where relevant and possible, specifically outline role, impact and issues in joint project assistance/implementation;
  • Recommendations (corrective actions for on-going or future work);
  • Summary review matrix/project RRF and achievement by objectives and outputs (triangulated with evidence and data);
  • Annexes (mission reports, list of interviewees, list of documents reviewed, etc).

The final evaluation will be presented to the JMB and DSG. This evaluation will be a home-based assignment with travel as agreed during the inception phase. The Consultant will be responsible for providing her/his own laptop.

Schedule of work and payment schedule:

Inception report on proposed evaluation methodology, work plan, interview list, and proposed structure of the report within 15 working days of contracting: 20%.Target date 30 August 2018;

A draft preliminary evaluation report and presentation, to be presented at a debriefing meeting with partners. Timeline, after successful conclusion of necessary meetings and data collection and acceptance of preliminary evaluation report and presentation, 30%. Target date 30 September 2018;

Final evaluation report. Timeline, upon acceptance of the final evaluation report within 10 working days after receipt of comments on the draft report, 50%.Target date 20 November 2018.

Duration of the Work and key deliverables:

The detailed schedule of the evaluation and length of the assignment will be discussed with the Evaluator prior to the assignment. The estimated duration of the Consultants’ assignment is up to 70 working days: Desk review and inception (18 working days within one month); Field Work and Preliminary Report (35 working days within 2 months); Final Report (17 working days within one month).

Competencies

The Evaluator should comply with the following UN Core Values, including:

  • Professionalism;
  • Planning and Organizing ability;
  • Accountability;
  • Communication;
  • Performance.

The candidate should be able to:

  • Ability to work under pressure against strict deadlines;
  • Ability to think out of the box;
  • Ability to validate assessments with data and evidence;
  • Ability present complex issues persuasively and clearly;
  • Ability to contextualize global trends in accordance with dynamics of the operating work environment;
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills;
  • Excellent writing skills and proven ability to produce quality and analytical reports within agreed time period.

Evaluation Criteria:

  • Criteria 1. Understanding of poverty-environment mainstreaming, the 2030 Agenda implementation and experience at the global, regional and/or country level on Post-2015 era, MDGs and/or the 2030 Agenda,Weight,20%;maximum points 20;
  • Criteria 2. Proven experience in applying evaluation techniques, and demonstrable experience in conducting evaluation of projects that focus on sustainable development, human development, the Post-2015 era, MDGs and/or the 2030 agenda,Weight,25%,maximum points: 25;
  • Criteria 3. Understanding of UNDP and UN Environment’s role and UN programming, in relation to the UN Development System and UN Agencies, including in the context of the ongoing reform process, show proven work in these areas.Weight10 %,maximum points,10;
  • Criteria 4. Evaluation of submitted samples/links to previous evaluations. These will be evaluated in terms of quality Weight,15% maximum points,15.

Having reviewed applications received, UNDP will invite the top three to four shortlisted candidates with minimum scores of 42 points (70% of 60 points) for interview. Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.Candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% (49 points) of the maximum obtainable points for the technical criteria (70 points) shall be considered for the financial evaluation.

  • Financial evaluation - Total 30%(30 points).

The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal:

  •  p = y (µ/z), where;
  •  p = points for the financial proposal being evaluated;
  •  y = maximum number of points for the financial proposal;
  •  µ = price of the lowest priced proposal;
  • z = price of the proposal being evaluated.

Contract Award:

Candidate obtaining the highest combined scores in the combined score of Technical and Financial evaluation will be considered qualified and will be offered the contract with UNDP.Firms are not eligible for this consultancy assignment (open only for international individual consultants).

Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Advanced university degree in economics, environmental science, public administration, political science, development or social sciences related discipline.

Experience:

  • 10 years post graduate work with international development assistance experience in relevant fields;
  • Experience in developing countries on environment & natural resources, economic or public management support projects;
  • Extensive experience in applying evaluation techniques, and demonstrable experience in conducting evaluations of projects that focus on sustainable development, human development, the Post-2015 era, MDGs and/or the 2030 Agenda required;
  • Substantive knowledge of poverty-environment mainstreaming and 2030 Agenda implementation, including national ownership, integrated approaches, and development required;
  • Qualitative data collection and analysis skills;
  • Process management skills such as facilitation skills and ability to negotiate with a wide range of stakeholders;
  • Knowledge of UNDP and UNEP’s mandate and roles, and exposure to UN joint programming is an asset;
  • Understanding of the UN ongoing reform processes, and experience in working with other relevant regional and/or continental entities and international donors;
  • Fluency in English, both written and spoken. Working knowledge of French or Spanish an asset;
  • Competent in usage of MS Office programmes (MS Word, Excel, Power point).

Languages:

  • Excellent verbal communication and writing skills in English;
UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
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  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: home based
  • Grade: International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Environment
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Poverty Reduction
    • Development Cooperation and Sustainable Development Goals
  • Closing Date: 2018-08-06

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