Consultancy: Review of Blended Product and Service Contract Modality, Monitoring, Strategic Data and Evidence Unit, Supply Division
UNICEF Supply Division is looking for a Consultant to support with Review of Blended Product and Service Contract Modality
Consultancy: Review of Blended Product and Service Contract Modality
Monitoring, Strategic Data and Evidence Unit, Supply Division
Duration: up to 10 working weeks (50 working days) over 4 months
Location: Home-based with 2 travels to Copenhagen, Denmark + up to 2 field travels (potentially 1 to Ethiopia + 1 to DRC).
Start Date: February 2020
Reporting to: Supply Specialist (Data), UNICEF Supply Division, based in Copenhagen. The Supply Specialist (Data) sits in the Evidence Team in the Monitoring, Strategic Data and Evidence Unit, part of the Director’s Office in Supply Division.
2.1. UNICEF Supply Division - SD has increasingly engaged in contracts that involve procurement of equipment and require the provision of related services such as installation and maintenance. They are called blended contracts. SD is learning about the best way to manage this contract modality, which has potential technical and reputational risks related to implementation, alignment of expectations, capacity to deliver, contractual and financial liabilities, quality assurance.
2.2. UNICEF has several experiences with the blended contract modality, such as DRC Hospital Project, CCEOP in various countries, Cold Chain project in DRC, Ethiopia Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Ethiopia Solar Drive Direct (SDD) Project, Tajikistan Hospital Project. Despite being in the same overarching modality, these projects have adopted different approaches and all can offer lessons on the pros and cons of different implementation models, as well as how and why challenges arise.
2.3. UNICEF is interested in documenting and learning from these experiences to better inform how the organization should engage in similar complex projects to minimize risks and strengthen quality assurance mechanisms. One of the outputs of this review will include a matrix with different options of existing models of blended contracts, so as to facilitate understanding and decision-making within SD for future contracts.
3.1. Considering the level of risk and complexity of blended contracts, there is an opportunity to build on existing efforts to document lessons and better understand the implications and challenges of this procurement modality, also considering other experiences that may involve the same kinds of risks. This review, therefore, has the potential to inform future decisions on how to engage in blended contracts, what requirements and criteria for approval and engagement should be in place, and the necessary quality assurance mechanisms at SD and country level.
3.2. The specific objectives of the review are:
• To provide a high-level overview of UNICEF Supply Division’s use of blended contract modalities;
• To document the key challenges and lessons emerging in the implementation of a blended contract modality, and the factors that contributed to minimize or aggravate them;
• To assess how risk has been managed, what mitigation measures have been agreed and the extent to which such measures have been implemented (including implications of not doing so);
• To make recommendations on criteria, processes, requirements and guidance that needs to be in place to start up and manage blended modality projects, based on good practices mapped within UNICEF and outside.
4.1. The review will take a mixed methods approach that includes quantitative analysis of supply and service data, document review, key stakeholder interviews, country mission and group discussions. Quantitative data collection will include, to the extent possible, several examples of blended contracts and projects managed by Supply Division, with different degrees of complexity, implementation challenges and pain points that can offer a critical and realistic perspective on the modality.
4.2. The review will be undertaken by an independent consultant, managed by the Evidence Team/ UNICEF Supply Division Monitoring, Strategic Data and Evidence Unit, in close collaboration with other relevant centers in Supply Division, particularly HTC and PSC. The other following stakeholders will be engaged during the process:
• Core Technical Group
Focal points in HTC, Procurement Services, Contracting Center, Transport Center.
Expected workload from Core Technical Group:
o Participation in meetings: inception visit, skype calls on review progress, preliminary findings and report preparation, recommendations workshop.
o Written feedback: inception report, draft review reports.
o Key Informant Interviews: one one-hour interview, possible second one-hour interview.
• Key Informants
The key informants will be additional staff members and managers who manage and/or are ultimately accountable for blended contracts with the provision of goods and services. This includes SD Deputy Directors, Centre Chiefs, Procurement and Contract Specialists in HTC including technical staff, PSC and CC, TC, Ethiopia Country Office, Ethiopia Federal Ministry of Health, contractors and their local stake holders (?), etc.
Expected workload from Key Informants:
o Written feedback: draft review reports.
o Key Informant Interviews: one one-hour interview, possible second one-hour interview.
4.3. The review will be implemented according to the following steps:
• Step 1: Inception – desk review and refinement of methodology (estimated 2 weeks)
During this stage, the consultant will go through documentation and clarifying discussions with the direct stakeholders. We will agree on the final composition of stakeholder groups, finalize the methodology for the review (including data collection strategy and tools), and discuss details on how to implement the case study. This stage will include an inception mission by the consultant to Supply Division in Copenhagen.
Stakeholder engagement during Step 1:
- Independent consultant: meetings; document review; preparation of inception report (including data collection strategy and instruments)
- Support: Supply Specialist (Data), Core Technical Group
• Step 2: Data Collection (estimated 3 weeks)
The data collection will include analysis of statistical/quantitative supply data and qualitative interviews with key stakeholders (focus groups discussions can also be organized as appropriate). At this stage, the independent consultants will also identify and search additional sources of data that may provide further evidence on the processes and challenges of blended contracts. This stage will include up to two field missions. Initially, Ethiopia and/or DRC are being considered, as several of the examples have taken place in these countries. Final decision on the field mission(s) will be taken during the Inception phase of the review.
Stakeholder engagement during Step 2:
- Independent consultant: collection of data on blended contracts utilized by Supply Division; interviews with Core Technical Group and external stakeholders.
- Support: Supply Specialist (Data), Core Technical Group, other external stakeholders
• Step 3: Analysis and Reporting (estimated 2 weeks)
During this stage, the independent consultant will produce a draft review report.
Stakeholder engagement during Step 3:
- Independent consultant: data analysis; preparation of draft review report
- Support (feedback and validation of draft report): Supply Specialist (Data), Core Technical Group, other necessary stakeholders
• Step 4: Recommendations workshop and reporting (estimated 1 week)
During this stage, the consultants will plan and facilitate a face-to-face workshop with UNICEF Supply Division in Copenhagen, in order to present, discuss, validate and finalize the recommendations including in the review. This is an interactive exercise that allows recommendations to be more tailored, realistic, and implementable. As a result of the discussions, the consultants will prepare a second draft of the review report.
- Independent consultant: preparation and facilitation of workshop; preparation of second draft review report
- Support (participation in workshop): Supply Specialist (Data), Core Technical Group, other necessary stakeholders
• Step 5: Final review report (estimated 2 weeks)
During this final stage, the report will be completed, incorporating feedback received in the previous rounds. Internally, the report will be communicated and discussed with management/ AGM and other relevant stakeholders, when the recommendations will be discussed and actions moving forward will be planned.
- Independent consultant: preparation of final review report
- Support (additional feedback and finalization of report): Supply Specialist (Data), Core Technical Group, other necessary stakeholders
5. INDICATIVE TIMELINE
5.1. The key milestones for the review will happen according to the following timeline:
Recruitment: Selection of independent consultant and contract award November/December
Step 1: Inception and refinement of methodology February
Step 2: Data collection February/March
Field missions March/April
Step 3: Analysis and Reporting March/April
Step 4: Recommendations workshop and Reporting May
Step 5: Final review report End of May
6. KEY DELIVERABLES
6.1. The activities detailed in the previous section will lead to the preparation of the key deliverables:
6.2. Step 1: Inception – desk review and refinement of methodology
Deliverable #1: Inception Report
MS Word report in English, up to 30 pages, including at least:
• The detailed methodology to carry out the assignment, including a review matrix with the review questions and approaches to collect and analyse the data;
• A workplan with activities and updated timeline for the three stages of the review;
• A stakeholder map, with key informants to the review and how they will be consulted;
• Limitations and risks to the review, including mitigating measures;
• Annex of data collection instruments, including survey plans and questionnaires, interview protocols and other tools that will be used.
6.3. Step 3: Analysis and Reporting
Deliverable #2: Draft Review Report
MS Word draft report in English, up to 40 pages, containing at least:
• Executive summary (3 pages)
• Description of the object of review (including the milestones in NICU)
• Review purpose, objective and scope
• Review methodology
• Findings (including data and evidence backing up all findings)
• Conclusions and draft recommendations (backed up by the review findings)
• Annex of data collected and detailed analysis performed
6.4. Step 4: Recommendations workshop and reporting
Deliverable #3: Presentation
• MS Power Point presentation in English, up to 20 slides, presented in person to the UNICEF team in Copenhagen, including a summary of the draft review report
Deliverable #4: Draft 2 Review Report
• Draft 2 Review report, including response matrix of how comments are incorporated into second draft
6.5. Step 5: Final review report
Deliverable #5: Final Review Report
• Final Review Report, incorporating and addressing feedback received from the UNICEF team.
7. PAYMENT SCHEDULE
• End of Inception Phase (Step 1): 20% of contract amount
• End of Analysis and Report Phase (Step 3): 30% of contract amount
• End of Final Review Phase (Step 5): 50% of contract amount
8.1. UNICEF will have the responsibility to ensure that the team has all the conditions to implement the assessment. Among others, UNICEF will:
• Provide documentation package containing the necessary documents for the desk review;
• Provide data sets for analysis;
• Provide support for interviews with staff;
• Facilitate contacts with external interviewees;
• Organize the ½ day recommendation workshop
• Keep stakeholders, partners and consultants informed of progress or any challenges that arise during the implementation of the assessment.
9. QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS
9.1. Education: Advanced university degree in management, social sciences, contractual law, supply and procurement, or another relevant discipline or first university degree with relevant experience
9.2. Work Experience: At least seven years of experience in leading evaluations, reviews or institutional assessments, of similar scale and level. In addition to the following:
• Relevant and progressive professional work experience with supply and procurement, contracting of goods and services and supply chain management is highly desirable
• Strong skills in quantitative and qualitative research and approaches, including the facilitation of participatory workshops
• Working knowledge of the UN, UNICEF experience is preferred
9.3. Language: Fluency in written and spoken English is essential. Candidates with additional fluency in written and spoken French will be given preference in the recruitment process.
9.4. Competencies: The successful candidate is expected to demonstrate the following competencies that are considered to be necessary to this consultancy:
• Excellent communicator including for reporting and presentation.
• Works in a multi-cultural environment and establishes harmonious and effective working relationships.
• Works independently and is problem-solving oriented.
• Strong organizational skills.
• Demonstrates communication and relationship-building skills.
9.5. UNICEF Core Values: The consultant also has to follow UNICEF’s core values described below.
Diversity and Inclusion
Treats all people with dignity and respect; shows respect and sensitivity towards gender, cultural and religious differences; challenges prejudice, biases and intolerance in the workplace; encourages diversity wherever possible.
Maintains high ethical standards; takes clear ethical stands; keeps promises; immediately addresses untrustworthy or dishonest behaviour; resists pressure in decision-making from internal and external sources; does not abuse power or authority.
Demonstrates commitment to UNICEF’s mission and to the wider UN system; demonstrates the values of UNICEF in daily activities and behaviours; seeks out new challenges, assignments and responsibilities; promotes UNICEF’s cause.
10. EVALUATION PROCESS
10.1. Qualified candidates are requested to submit:
• Cover letter
• Technical proposal including (indicative length of each section is provided in brackets):
o Understanding of the ToR and overall approach to the Review (1 page)
o Methodology to conduct the Review (up to 2 pages)
o Proposed workplan for the Review (1 page)
• All-inclusive amount financial proposal, with cost breakdown by deliverables and working days (see example in Annex 3). Travel costs will be acknowledged at this stage, but not considered part of the financial proposal assessment. The following cost items should be included and described in detail in the financial proposal:
o Daily rates for the consultant (payments schedule will be based on the number of working days included in the technical proposal)
o Estimated reimbursable travel costs (all travel must be pre-approved by UNICEF and will be based on most direct and economy class ticket irrespective of the duration of the flight. UNICEF will reimburse the service provider upon presentation of the travel tickets and boarding pass/receipts etc. Daily subsistence allowance (DSA) will, where applicable, be paid up to a maximum of the official UN rate. Travel costs should include the participation in two meetings with UNICEF in Copenhagen (Finalization Stage) and (possibly) one 5-day field visit to Ethiopia. Other necessary travel costs will be reimbursed if so is agreed previously with UNICEF.
o Additional costs
• Full CV
• Links to 2 sample relevant reports authored by the applicant
• 2 Professional References with contact details (preferably e-mail)
10.2. Applications that meet minimum requirements will be assessed by the following breakdown: 70% Technical Proposal / 30% Financial Proposal.
10.3. Applications must be submitted through the UNICEF electronic application system by Sunday, 1st December.
ANNEX 1: QUESTIONS TO BE COVERED IN THE REVIEW
The questions that need to be responded (through the participation of SD and country stakeholders) are organized according to the three objectives of the review. They relate to standard evaluation criteria that are relevant for this review and will be further detailed and refined during the inception phase.
Specific Objective 1:
To provide a high-level overview of UNICEF Supply Division’s use of blended contract modalities
1) What is UNICEF Supply Division’s history and current engagement in using blended contracts? What types of projects use that type of modality? What is the spend on blended contracts? How has this changed over time?
Specific Objective 2:
To document the key challenges and lessons emerging in the implementation of a blended contract modality, and the factors that contributed to minimize or aggravate them
2) Throughout implementation, what have been and still are the most significant challenges and/or opportunities of blended contracts to COs, SD and partners, and how are these challenges and opportunities being dealt with?
In particular, consider the following broad areas for the analysis (non-exhaustive list, as others may be identified during the review):
a. Early analysis/ needs assessment
b. Project scope and pre-implementation decision-making, and subsequent changes in scope
c. Project governance and management, roles and responsibilities (including a review of several monitoring tools available)
d. Capacity to implement the project (within SD and COs)
e. Pre-procurement preparation and arrangements
f. Contractual specificities and complexities, contract management
g. Compliance with contractual framework and deviations
h. Project implementation process: request, approvals, in-country implementation
i. Quality of deliverables
j. Communications (internal in UNICEF, external with partners) and stakeholder relationships during project implementation
k. Documentation of the process, institutional memory
3) How have changes in project scope that occurred over the course of the projects affected implementation and the roles/participation / accountabilities of different partners in the project?
4) To what extent did the projects adhere to the Supply Manual and was it sufficient guidance for this kind of project?
5) Have any good practices been identified in the projects that can be used in future opportunities (in these or other projects of similar nature)?
Specific Objective 3:
To assess how risk has been managed, what mitigation measures have been agreed and the extent to which such measures have been implemented (including implications of not doing so);
6) What have been the key risks and mitigating measures identified during in the projects? How have they materialized and changed/ evolved over time? How successful were the mitigating measures in managing identified risks?
7) What has been done to address uncertainties over the course of the projects? How effectively was uncertainty managed and what have been the consequences for implementation?
Specific Objective 4:
To make recommendations on criteria, processes, requirements and guidance that need to be in place to start up and manage blended modality projects, based on good practices mapped within UNICEF and outside.
8) Considering the experience of implementing the NICU and SDD projects, what kind of process for decision-making and implementation should be in place to facilitate achieving results under blended contracts? Which arrangements are not recommended and why?
9) Which requirements, criteria and quality assurance mechanisms should be in place for SD to agree with the implementation of similar blended contracts? Consider good practices and benchmarks from within UNICEF and from other organizations.
10) What needs to be considered to ensure phasing out, handover and sustainability of future projects of similar nature?
ANNEX 2: HOW PROPOSALS WILL BE ASSESSED
The assessment of proposals will done according to the criteria and scoring distribution below.
- Experience in similar projects – 10 marks
In brief: Evidence of experience with similar projects
1.1. Evidence of experience in similar projects (evaluations, reviews and institutional assessments) of similar scale and level: 2 sample reports – Maximum 10 points obtainable
2. Proposed methodology and approach – 30 marks
In brief: Approach, methodology and workplan for the Review
2.1. Overall understanding of the ToR and of the needs and requirements for the Review - Maximum 10 points obtainable
2.2. Proposed methodology to conduct the Review - Maximum 10 points obtainable
2.3. Workplan for the Review - Maximum 10 points obtainable
3. Quality of personnel and suitability for the assignment – 30 marks
In brief: Consultant’s profile and evidence of knowledge, skills & experience
3.1. Academic qualifications - Maximum 5 points obtainable
3.2. Years of experience in leading evaluations, reviews or institutional assessments, of similar scale and level - Maximum 5 points obtainable
3.3. Strong skills in quantitative and qualitative research and approaches, including the facilitation of participatory workshops - Maximum 5 points obtainable
3.4. Relevant and progressive professional work experience with supply and procurement, contracting of goods and services and supply chain management - Maximum 5 points obtainable
3.5. Working knowledge of the UN and UNICEF experience - Maximum 5 points obtainable
3.6. Language skills - Maximum 5 points obtainable
4. Financial cost – 30 marks
4.1. Financial proposal (compared to other submissions) - Maximum 30 points obtainable
Total – 100 marks