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  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: China
  • Grade: International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Logistics
    • Supply Chain
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
    • Environment
  • Closing Date: 2019-07-20

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International Consultant of MTR Green Logistics

China (United States of America)

Background

Please provide Offeror’s Letter and proposal together with your CV in one single file while submitting application. And please note that the system will not accept the uploading of more than one document so please merge or scan all your documents into one prior to uploading., below is the download link of Offeror's Letter. Applications submitted without Offeror's Letter will be considered fail in evaluation.

Offeror's letter download link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/174cnZW6CXFmENvX4pS31KD5b8G_KDTmP/view?usp=sharing 

Name of Project:  Greening the Logistics Industry in Zhejiang Province (GLIZP)

Terms of Reference for the Mid-Term Review

Introduction

1.1 Project Background

For a country like China, which for the past 2 decades has been experiencing rapid economic growth, activities such as the production, handling, storage, and physical delivery of products/goods (including raw materials) have increased significantly. Trucking, the most common, yet the most energy inefficient form of freight/cargo transport, accounts for 75% of the annual total volume of freight transport in China (compared to 75% by rail in the USA). Currently, the logistics industry in China faces lots of problems, including non-standard supply chain equipment, low truck availability, low quality of diesel fuel due to the difference between China’s crude oil standards and international standard and long loading time. As a result, operational expenses (mainly on energy consumption for physical distribution, i.e., freight transport; and materials management, i.e., inventory carrying) in China’s logistics industry account for 18.3% of the GDP, compared with 6% in Germany and 5% in France.

To cope up with the rapid economic growth, logistics infrastructure investments have been spectacular; in the last five years. China has spent more than about US$1.5 trillion on 639,000 km of new roads, 33,000 km of new freeways and 15,500 km of new railway lines. It has created 1,700 deep water ports and 170 airports. But all of these are not integrated. As a result, despite of these huge investments, the logistics efficiency in China is very low compared to that in other countries. National average empty truck load is 50% to 60%. Also, average fuel consumption per distance by trucks is about 30% higher than those in the developed countries. The logistics across China cost a massive 18% of GDP in Q1 2012, about double that of developed countries. China’s higher logistics cost is related to the capacity and skills of its logistics services providers (LSPs). The country’s LSPs are yet to progress further towards added value and more sophisticated services. The logistics industry is fragmented, with more than 1,000 “unskilled providers”.

China’s total social logistics cost exceeded 10 trillion RMB in 2013, making up 18% of GDP. Logistics energy consumption remained high, amounting to 272.3 million tce to 311.2 million tce (ton of coal equivalent) in the same year. In general, energy takes up 27% - 31% of operating cost of the China’s logistics industry. According to rough estimates, energy consumption cost has climbed to 40% or even 80% of total cost for transport LSPs. With the dawning of rapid-development phase for modern logistics in China, reliance by the logistics industry in petroleum has become irreversible. The high petroleum price contributes to the rising transportation cost, which significantly adds to logistics cost. As energy price fluctuates, this certainly exerts certain impacts on logistics enterprises and industry in terms of rising of operating cost, shrinking of profit and capital shortage of domestic LSPs.

Out of the China’s total energy consumption reaching 3.89 billion tce in 2013, the logistics industry share was 7% to 8%, which is equivalent to 272.3 million to 311.2 million tce. The estimated overall energy consumption of China’s logistics industry is 4.79 to 5.47 tce/10,000 RMB GDP, with reference to the corresponding total GDP of 56.9 trillion RMB of China. Based on the data from National Bureau of Statistics, China’s transportation, warehousing and post sectors consume 10% of overall energy.

Effective logistics provision is among the most critical factors for China’s economic development, and in some particular circumstances, it could be the very important consideration. Modernization of logistics operations can effectively enhance a country’s industrial structure and improve quality of economic operation. As a result of the shift in global energy supply forms and the enhanced green energy awareness in recent years, energy supply has become a key element that can potentially affect the development of the country’s logistics industry

1.2 Project Summary

GLIZP is aimed at widespread application of energy efficient green logistics technology (techniques and practices) in the logistics industry in Zhejiang Province. A barrier removal approach will be applied to achieve effective and extensive application of green logistics concepts in the province’s logistics industry. The project is expected to transform the logistics industry in Zhejiang Province into one where the interplay of operational efficiency, environmental friendliness and energy efficiency/conservation ensures sustainable operation and development of the logistics industry in serving the commercial and manufacturing sectors in the province in the collection, storage and delivery of goods in an efficient, energy conserving, waste-reducing manner. This will be achieved through the implementation of activities grouped into three project components: (1) Policy and Regulatory Support for Green Logistics, (2) Green Logistics Systems Demonstration, and (3) Capacity Building and Promotion of, Green Logistics Systems.

Expected outcomes:

  1. Established and enforced policy and regulations on the application and operation of green logistics systems in the logistics industry in Zhejiang Province. 1) Completed analysis of: (1) the energy use trends and GHG emissions from the operation of the logistics industry (materials management and physical distribution) in Zhejiang Province as basis for formulating policies; and, (2) green logistics systems developed and implemented in other countries and their utilization performances;2) Formulated, recommended and implemented standards, policies, incentive schemes and implementing rules and regulations on the promotion and adoption of green logistics in Zhejiang Province; 3) Published and disseminated guides and reference documents for the application of energy conserving and energy efficient practices in the logistics industry; 4) Approved follow-up plan for the replication of the applications of the piloted green logistics policies in Zhejiang Province in other provinces and cities;
  2. Improved energy efficiency in the materials management and physical distribution activities in the logistics industry in Zhejiang Province. 1)Completed designs of energy efficient materials management demonstrations focusing on using energy efficient materials management systems in packaging, warehousing, cold storage, etc., in the logistics industry in Zhejiang Province; 2) Completed designs of energy efficient physical distribution demonstrations focusing on integrated multi-modal transport systems and reduction of empty load rates in the freight transport operations of the logistics industry in Zhejiang Province; 3) Installed and fully operational green logistics-based centralized logistic platform in Fuyang City, Zhejiang Province; 4) Operational green logistics-based physical distribution system demonstration project in Zhejiang Province; 5) Documented annual evaluation reports on the energy performance and environmental impacts of each demo project in materials management and physical distribution, and documented and disseminated demo project results; 6) Developed action plan for scaling-up and sustainability of the green logistics system demonstration program;
  3. Increased application and utilization of energy efficient materials management and physical distribution techniques, technologies and practices in the logistics and manufacturing industries in Zhejiang Province. 1) Completed assessment report on capacity development needs in the area of green logistics and developed green logistics capacity building program; 2) Completed green logistics training courses for government authorities and relevant stakeholders in the logistics and manufacturing industries in Zhejiang Province (e.g., concepts, practices, methodologies; 3) Completed technical assistance program for assisting small-to-medium size LSPs on the application of green logistics systems; 4) Completed promotional workshops and activities for enhancing awareness and knowledge in green logistics systems; 5) Completed and fully evaluated program for the promotion and capacity building of green logistics systems; 6) Designed, endorsed and implemented an energy performance rating program and green logistics information sharing system for LSPs in Zhejiang Province;

Implementation Period: 2017-2020

2. Objectives of the Mid-Term Review

The objectives of this Mid-Term Review (MTR) seek to fulfill the following overarching objectives of the monitoring and evaluation of GEF projects:

The objective of the MTR is to gain an independent analysis of the progress of the project so far. The MTR will identify potential project design problems, assess progress towards the achievement of the project objective, identify and document lessons learned (including lessons that might improve design and implementation of other UNDP-GEF projects), and make recommendations regarding specific actions that should be taken to improve the project. The MTR will assess early signs of project success or failure and identify the necessary changes to be made. The project performance will be measured based on the indicators of the project’s logical framework and various Tracking Tools.

The MTR must provide evidence based information that is credible, reliable and useful. The review is expected to follow a participatory and consultative approach ensuring close engagement with government counterparts, in particular the GEF operational focal point, UNDP Country Office, project team, UNDP GEF Technical Adviser based in the region and key stakeholders. Interviews will be held with the following organizations and individuals at a minimum:

  1. UNDP staff who have project responsibilities;
  2. Executing agencies (including but not limited to senior officials and task team/ component leaders:ZDRC, key experts and consultants in the demonstration areas, PSC members;
  3. The Chair of Project Steering Committee 
  4. Project stakeholders, to be determined at the MTR inception meeting; including academia, local government and CBOs

The MTR will review all relevant sources of information, such as the project document, project reports – including Annual APR/PIR, project budget revisions, progress reports, GEF focal area tracking tools, project files, national strategic and legal documents, and any other materials that the MTR considers useful for this evidence-based review.

3. Scope of the Evaluation

The scope of the MTR covers the entire UNDP/GEF-funded project and its components as well as the co-financed components of the project.

The MTR will assess the Project implementation taking into account the status of the project activities and outputs and the resource disbursements made up to the point of the start of the review

The evaluation will involve analysis at two levels: component level and project level. On the component level, the following shall be assessed:

  • Whether there is effective relationship and communication between/among components so that data, information, lessons learned, best practices and outputs are shared efficiently, including cross-cutting issues.
  • Whether the performance measurement indicators and targets used in the project monitoring system are specific, measurable, achievable, reasonable and time-bounded to achieve desired project outcomes.
  • Whether the use of consultants has been successful in achieving component outputs.

The evaluation will include such aspects as appropriateness and relevance of work plan, compliance with the work and financial plan with budget allocation, timeliness of disbursements, procurement, coordination among project team members and committees.  Any issue or factor that has impeded or accelerated the implementation of the project or any of its components, including actions taken and resolutions made should be highlighted.

On the project level, it will assess the project performance in terms of: (a.) Progress towards achievement of results, (b.) Factors affecting successful implementation and achievement of results, (c.) Project Management framework, and (d.) Strategic partnerships.

3.1 Progress towards achievement of results (internal and within project’s control)

  • Is the Project making satisfactory progress in achieving project outputs vis-à-vis the targets and related delivery of inputs and activities?
  • Are the direct partners and project consultants able to provide necessary inputs or achieve results?
  • Given the level of achievement of outputs and related inputs and activities to date, is the Project likely to achieve its Immediate Purpose and Development Objectives?
  • Are there critical issues relating to achievement of project results that have been pending and need immediate attention in the next period of implementation?

3.2 Factors affecting successful implementation and achievement of results (beyond the Project’s immediate control or project-design factors that influence outcomes and results)

  • Is the project implementation and achievement of results proceeding well and according to plan, or are there any outstanding issues, obstacles, bottlenecks, etc. on the consumer, government or private sector or other organizations that are affecting the successful implementation and achievement of project results?
  • To what extent does the broader policy environment remain conducive to achieving expected project results, including existing and planned legislations, rules, regulations, policy guidelines and government priorities?
  • Is the project logical framework and design still relevant in the light of the project experience to date?
  • To what extent do critical assumptions/risks in project design make true under present circumstances and on which the project success still hold? Validate these assumptions as presently viewed by the project management and determine whether there are new assumptions/risks that should be raised?
  • Is the project well-placed and integrated within the national government development strategies, such as community development, poverty reduction, etc., and related global development programs to which the project implementation should align?
  • Do the Project’s purpose and objectives remain valid and relevant, or are there items or components in the project design that need to be reviewed and updated?
  • Are the Project’s institutional and implementation arrangements still relevant and helpful in the achievement of the Project’s objectives, or are there any institutional concerns that hinder the Project’s implementation and progress.

3.3 Project management (adaptive management framework)

  • Are the project management arrangements adequate and appropriate?
  • How effectively is the project managed at all levels? Is it results-based and innovative?
  • Do the project management systems, including progress reporting, administrative and financial systems and monitoring and evaluation system, operate as effective management tools, aid in effective implementation and provide sufficient basis for evaluating performance and decision making?
  • Is technical assistance and support from project partners and stakeholders appropriate, adequate and timely?
  • Validate whether the risks originally identified in the project document and, currently in the APR/PIRs, are the most critical and the assessments and risk ratings placed are reasonable.
  • Describe additional risks identified during the evaluation, if any, and suggest risk ratings and possible risk management strategies to be adopted.
  • Assess the use of the project logical framework and work plans as management tools and in meeting with UNDP-GEF requirements in planning and reporting.
  • Assess the use of electronic information and communication technologies in the implementation and management of the project.
  • On the financial management side, assess the cost effectiveness of the interventions and note any irregularities.
  • How have the APR/PIR process helped in monitoring and evaluating the project implementation and achievement of results? 

3.4 Strategic partnerships (project positioning and leveraging)

  • Asses how project partners, stakeholders and co-financing institutions are involved in the Project’s adaptive management framework.
  • Identify opportunities for stronger collaboration and substantive partnerships to enhance the project’s achievement of results and outcomes.
  • Are the project information and progress of activities disseminated to project partners and stakeholders? Are there areas to improve in the collaboration and partnership mechanisms?

Evaluation Methodology

The MTR is expected to become well versed as to the project objectives, historical developments, institutional and management mechanisms, activities and status of accomplishments. Information will be gathered through document review, group and individual interviews and site visits. Review relevant project documents and reports will be based on the following sources of information: review of documents related to the project and structured interviews with knowledgeable parties

The MTR will conduct an opening meeting with UNDP, National Project Director (NPD), Project Management Office (PMO). An “exit” interview will also be held to discuss the findings of the assessment prior to the submission of the draft Final Report. 

Prior to engagement and visiting the PMO, the MTR shall receive all the relevant documents including at least:

  • The Project Document and Project Brief
  • Inception Report
  • Annual Work and Financial Plans
  • Annual Project Report/Project Implementation Review (APR/PIR) for 2017 and 2018

To provide more details, as may be needed, the following will be made available for access by the MTR:

  • Executive summary of all quarterly reports
  • Internal monitoring results
  • Terms of Reference for past consultants’ assignments and summary of the results
  • Past audit reports

All additional material related to the project management and implementation and held by the PMO and their subcontracts will be available for review at the discretion of the Evaluation.

The MTR Evaluation should at least interview the following people:

  • National Project Director
  • National Project Coordinator
  • PMO Director
  • International Chief Technical Advisor
  • Project Financial Officer
  • A representative of the Project Steering Committee
  • UNDP Country Office in China in-charge of the Project

It is also anticipated that the MTR will interview a number of sub-contractors and recipients of services, and make site visits to implementation areas. However, the degree to which such interactions are required will be at the discretion of the Evaluation.

With the aim of having an objective and independent evaluation, the MTR is expected to conduct the project review according to international criteria and professional norms and standards as adopted by the UN Evaluation Group.     

Duties and Responsibilities

Mid Term Review 

The MTR will be composed of one International Lead Consultant and one National Consultants. The MTR is expected to combine international standards of evaluation expertise, excellent knowledge of Energy Efficiency and Climate Change projects and the national context of in which the project is being implemented.

At the minimum, the members of the MTR shall have the following professional background and responsibilities:

International Lead Consultant (one person)

Budget:Consultant fee + air tickets cost

Numbers of working days: 15 days

Anticipated missions to China: 1

Location: Hangzhou, Zhejiang

Responsibilities

  • Define the evaluation methodology and schedule, and report to the PMO
  • Documentation of the review
  • Leading the MTR in planning, conducting and reporting on the evaluation
  • Deciding on division of labor within the team and ensuring timeliness of reports
  • Use of best practice evaluation methodologies in conducting the evaluation
  • Leading presentation of the draft evaluation findings and recommendations in-country
  • Conducting the debriefing for the UNDP China Office and the PMO
  • Leading the drafting and finalization of the MTR report

Competencies

All MTR Members

The members of MTR must be independent from both the policy-making process and the delivery and management of the UNDP/GEF assistance to the project. Therefore, candidates who had any direct involvement with the design and implementation of the project will not be considered.

Evaluation Schedule and Deliverables

The MTR is provisionally scheduled to commence in early August 2019. The draft evaluation report should be produced with 2 weeks, highlighting important observations, analysis of information and key conclusions including its recommendations. Based on the scope of the MTR described above, the Evaluation Report will include, among others:

  • Findings on the project implementation achievements, challenges, and difficulties to date;
  • Assessments of the progress made towards the attainment of outcomes;
  • Recommendations for modifications and the future course of action;
  • Lessons learned from the project structure, coordination between different agencies, experience of the implementation, and output/outcome.

The report will be initially shared with UNDP China Office and PMO to solicit comments or clarifications. Consequently, a presentation of the report will be made to an open meeting of all project stakeholders for comment. The final MTR report will then be submitted within 1 month of the initiation of the evaluation. Three copies of the report will be submitted to the UNDP China Office and a copy to PMO.

There will be two main deliverables:

  • MTR report, including an executive summary, fulfilling the evaluation requirements set out in this Terms of Reference (TOR).  The final report (including executive summary, but excluding annexes) should not exceed 50 pages.
  • A power-point presentation of the findings of the evaluation

Required Skills and Experience

Profile

  • Minimum of ten years accumulated and recognized experience in the Energy Efficiency and climate change area
  • Minimum of five years experience of project evaluation and/or implementation experience in the result-based management framework
  • Familiarity with China
  • Experience with multilateral and bilateral supported project environments
  • Comprehensive knowledge of international project best practices
  • Very good report writing skills in English

Evaluation Criteria

The award of the contract will be made to the Individual Consultant who has obtained the highest Combined Score and has accepted UNDP’s General Terms and Conditions.  Only those applications which are responsive and compliant will be evaluated. The offers will be evaluated using the “Combined Scoring method” where:

  • Technical evaluation - 70%; (includes 20% of Job Related Technical Expertise; 25% of Relevant working experience; 25% of Methodology & Approach to Assignment)
  • Financial Evaluation - 30%.

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

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. UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.
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