UNDP’s regional project on Arab Knowledge (AKP) is part of the UNDP Regional Programme for the Arab States. The first phase of the project was launched in 2007 through a partnership with Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF), which was followed by phase II in (2016-2020).
AKP aims to promote knowledge societies and policies as transformational means to achieve sustainable development. The project contributes to driving active conversation and raise awareness on the importance of knowledge and knowledge-based policies for sustainable development. Hence, it encourages using knowledge production as advocacy tools, aiming to widely disseminate and embed in policy debates.
More specifically, AKP strives to achieve two key outputs:
i) Arab Knowledge Index (AKI) and Knowledge4all digital portal to provide easily accessible data on knowledge accumulation, production and consumption within a development framework;
ii) Participatory platforms to maximize outreach and dissemination of knowledge products developed, and building educational capacities (ministries, universities, regional research institutions, etc.) to improve the state of knowledge in Arab countries.
Over the course of phase II, AKP focused on designing, launching and enhancing new knowledge products, namely the Global Knowledge Index (GKI), Arab Knowledge Index (AKI) and digital portal [Knowledge4all], to provide easily accessible data on knowledge within a development framework. This includes measuring performance of countries in the Arab region on knowledge acquisition, dissemination and production.
Through its outputs and associated knowledge products and activities, the project has been visibly contributing to the objective of supporting and promoting “knowledge for human development” in the Arab region. The ultimate objective has been to support the region’s efforts towards establishing the aspired knowledge societies and economies. This is in line with the major objectives and expected outcomes of RBAS/Regional Programme Document (2018-2021) particularly in relation to accelerating structural transformation of productive capacities in a sustainable and inclusive manner (RPD outcome 1).
As the project has been extended to 2030, UNDP seeks the recruitment of an international consultant to conduct a mid-term project evaluation.
Duties and Responsibilities
Objectives of the Evaluation
The evaluation will be conducted by an independent consultant. It will assess the project’s progress (and challenges), taking the linkages to the broader initiative into consideration, at the outcome level, with measurement of the output level achievements and gaps and in particular, what changes were achieved as a result of the project towards fostering knowledge, and ultimately the promotion of knowledge societies and policies as transformational means to achieve sustainable development.
The purpose of the external evaluation is foremost to assess how the project impacted the progress towards the achievement of the objectives. Moreover, the contribution of the project in enabling a coherent development engagement and to identify the factors that have affected its implementation will be assessed.
The evaluation will consist of a desk review-based research, a mission to Amman and Dubai to meet with the project team and key stakeholders, and in-depth interviews with key stakeholders and beneficiaries. It will document results achieved, the challenges faced, and how those challenges were addressed.
The evaluation is expected to identify success stories, good practices, challenges, constraints, and lessons learned, as well as to provide recommendations on substantive and process issues to inform the future direction, implementation, and the next steps of the project for the upcoming phase 2020-2030.
The external evaluation will cover the period from January 2016 till August 2019. It will be based on the activities financed by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF).
The specific evaluation objectives are to:
- Analyze the relevance of the project strategy and approaches;
- Validate the project results in terms of achievements and/or weaknesses toward the targeted results;
- Assess the potential for sustainability of the results and the feasibility of ongoing, nationally-led efforts and commitment to help promote knowledge societies and policies as transformational means to achieve sustainable development;
- Document key lessons learned, good practices, success stories and challenges to inform future work of various stakeholders in addressing the area of fostering knowledge; and
- Document and analyze possible weaknesses in order to improve next steps of project interventions in the mentioned area.
SCOPE OF WORK
In assessing the project, the evaluation will take into consideration the following criteria:
Relevance and appropriateness
- Was the project relevant, appropriate and strategic to fostering knowledge for sustainable development goals and challenges?
- Was the project relevant, appropriate and strategic to the mandate, strategy, functions, roles, and responsibility of the key actors?
- Was the project relevant, appropriate and strategic to the UNDP development goals?
Effectiveness and efficiency
- Were the actions to achieve the outputs and outcomes effective and efficient?
- Were there any lessons learned, failures/lost opportunities? What might have been done better or differently?
- How did the project deal with issues and risks?
- Were the outputs achieved in a timely manner?
- Were the resources utilized in the best way possible?
- Were the resources (time, funding, human resources) sufficient?
Impact and sustainability
- Will the outputs/outcomes lead to benefits beyond the life of the existing project?
- Were the actions and result owned by the partners and stakeholders?
- Was the capacity (individuals, institution, and system) built through the actions of the project?
- What is the level of contribution of the project management arrangements to national ownership of the set objectives, result and outputs?
- Were the modes of deliveries of the outputs appropriate to promote regional / national ownership and sustainability of the result achieved?
- Did the project address cross-cutting issues including gender?
- To what extent did the design of the project help in achieving its own goals?
- Was the context, problem, needs and priorities well analyzed while designing the project?
- Were there clear objectives and strategy?
- Were there clear baseline indicators and/or benchmark for performance?
- Was the process of project design sufficiently participatory? Was there any impact of the process?
- Was there coherence and complementarity by the project to other entities in the field of fostering knowledge?
- Was there coherence, coordination and complementarity by the project with other donor funded activities in the field of fostering knowledge?
- Are the project management arrangements appropriate at the team level and project board level?
- Was there appropriate visibility and acknowledgement of the project and donor?
- The Final Evaluation should be aligned with the principles established in UNDP’s Evaluation Policy and the UN Evaluation Group’s Norms and Standards for Evaluation.
Based on the UNDP guidelines for evaluations, the evaluation will be inclusive and participatory, involving principal stakeholders into the analysis. During the evaluation, the consultant is expected to apply the following approaches for data collection and analysis.
- Desk review of relevant documents, including progress reports and any records of the various opinion surveys conducted during the life of the project.
- One field visit (including to Amman and Dubai) to meet with the project team and stakeholders in the field (3 working days) to conduct key informative interviews.
- An analytical report, which should contain an executive summary (mandatory), be analytical in nature (both quantitative and qualitative), be structured around issues and related findings/lessons learned; and include conclusions and recommendations.
During the process, the consultant will report to the Director of the Regional Hub, who will provide overall guidance and ensure satisfactory completion of the deliverables. There will be close coordination with the Chief Technical Advisor (CTA) and project team who will assist in connecting the consultant with senior management, development partners, beneficiaries and key stakeholders. In addition, the CTA will provide key project documentation prior to fieldwork, and project staff will assist in developing a detailed programme to facilitate consultations as necessary.
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, to be presented at a debriefing meeting with UNDP;
- Final report including a 2-3 pages’ executive summary.
Please refer to “Annex 1: Proposed Evaluation Workplan” for a detailed view of the Deliverables/Outputs with the corresponding Activity, Estimated Duration, Due Dates, Review and Approvals Required.
S/he will work with the AKP Chief Technical Advisor based in Dubai under the supervision of the Regional Hub Director based in Amman, based on the workplan enclosed as Annex 1.
- Good teamwork and interpersonal skills;
- Flexibility and ability to handle multiple tasks and work under pressure;
Knowledge Management and Learning
- Ability to strongly promote and build knowledge products;
- Seeks and applies knowledge, information and best practices from within and outside of UNDP;
- Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills;
- Mature judgment and initiative;
Required Skills and Experience
QUALIFICATIONS OF THE SUCCESSFUL INDIVIDUAL CONTRACTOR
I. Academic Qualifications:
- At least a master’s degree in social sciences, management or related discipline;
II. Years of experience:
- A minimum of 7 years of experience in implementation / evaluation of projects/programmes on democratic governance / fostering knowledge; preferably some experience of these in the Arab countries;
- Experience in cooperation with multilateral agencies
- Strong background experience including familiarity with UN systems, requirements, procedures, and rules & regulations;
- Solid understanding of international knowledge standards and experiences in programming on related issues;
- Proven work experience in use of participatory evaluation methods for identifying measurable target indicators and in particular for identifying outcome / impact – positive change of behavior, policy or law made;
- Demonstrated ability to assess complex situations in order to succinctly and clearly distil critical issues.
- Excellent analytical and report writing skills
IV. Language Requirements:
- Language proficiency in both English and Arabic, written and oral is required.
- The individual is required to exhibit his or her full-time commitment with UNDP-RBAS;
- S/He shall perform tasks under the general guidance and the direct supervision of the Arab Knowledge Portal (AKP) project manager. The supervision of the (AKP) project manager will include approvals/acceptance of the outputs as identified in the previous section;
- The individual is expected to liaise and collaborate in the course of performing the work with other consultants, suppliers and UN colleagues;
- The individual is required to provide periodical progress reports on regular and needed basis throughout the assignment in order to monitor progress;
- The individual is required to maintain close communication with UNDP-RBAS on regular and needed basis at any period throughout the assignment in order to monitor progress. In the event of any delay, S/he will inform UNDP promptly so that decisions and remedial action may be taken accordingly;
- Should UNDP deem it necessary, it reserves the right to commission additional inputs, reviews or revisions, as needed to ensure the quality and relevance of the work.
- FINANCIAL PROPOSAL
Interested candidates should provide lump sum fees for requested services with detailed breakdown. This amount must be “all-inclusive”. Please note that the terms “all-inclusive” implies that all costs (professional fees, travel costs, living allowances, communications, consumables, etc.) that could possibly be incurred are already factored into the final amounts submitted in the proposal. Also, please note that the contract price will be Deliverables/Outputs based - not fixed - subject to change in the cost components.
The contractor will be paid an all-inclusive Deliverables/Outputs based lump sum amounts over the assignment period, subject to the submission of Certification of Payment (CoP) duly certified and confirmation of satisfactory performance of achieved work (deliverables/outputs) in line with the schedule of payments table hereunder.
Estimated due date
Expected number of working days for each deliverable
Draft evaluation findings.
Documented records of interviews and observations with stakeholders.
Presentation of findings to key stakeholders
Draft report delivered to UNDP for consideration and comments
A report of maximum 25 pages in word document format with tables/graphs where appropriate will be submitted after the completion of the mission, incorporating comments made on the draft
6 days from contract signature date
32 days from submitting the Evaluation inception report
7 days from submitting the Draft evaluation report
100% of the contract value upon satisfactory completion of all Deliverables
RECOMMENDED PRESENTATION OF OFFER
Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications. Candidates that fail to submit the required information will not be considered.
- Duly accomplished Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability using the template provided by UNDP;
- Personal CV, indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references;
- Brief description of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment, including references to how she/he will approach and complete the assignment.
- Submit technical proposal and methodology for this assignment
Interested candidates shall submit above documents to the Job Advertisement Website: https://jobs.undp.org/cj_view_jobs.cfm as one document not later than 7th December, 2019
Interested candidates can find Procurement notice, letter of confirmation of interest and availability and P11 http://procurement-notices.undp.org/view_notice.cfm?notice_id=61703
Please do not submit financial proposal in this stage. Financial proposal shall be requested from Candidates who are considered technically responsive
Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodologies:
Step I: Screening and desk review:
Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodology.
Applications will be first screened and only candidates meeting the following minimum requirements will progress to the pool for shortlisting:
- Criteria A: At least a master’s degree in social sciences, management or related discipline
- Criteria B: A minimum of 7 years of experience in implementation / evaluation of projects/programmes on democratic governance / fostering knowledge; preferably some experience of these in the Arab countries;
- Criteria C: Language proficiency in both English and Arabic written and oral is required.
Shortlisted Candidates will be then assessed and scored against the following evaluation criteria:
Technical evaluation Criteria max 100 points (Weighted 70):
- Criteria A At least a master’s degree in the social sciences, management or other relevant field of study (20 points);
- Criteria B: A minimum of 7 years of experience in implementation / evaluation of projects/programmes on democratic governance, in particular knowledge; preferably some experience of these in the Arab countries (25 points);
- Criteria C: Experience in cooperation with multilateral agencies would be a Strong background experience including familiarity with UN systems, requirements, procedures, and rules & regulations (10 points);
- Criteria D: Excellent analytical and report writing skills; Knowledge of English and Arabic (5 points);
- Criteria E: Quality of the proposed methodology and technical offer (40 points)
Financial Criteria - 30% of total evaluation
For those offers considered in the financial evaluation, the lowest price offer will receive 30 points.The other offers will receive points in relation to the lowest offer, based on the following formula: (PI / Pn)* 30 where Pn is the financial offer being evaluated and Pl is the lowest financial offer received.
Step II: Final evaluation
The final evaluation will combine the scores of the desk review and the financial proposal with the following weights assigned to each:
Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the cumulative analysis methodology (weighted scoring method), where the award of the contract will be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:
- Responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
- Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.
Technical Criteria weight: [70%]
Financial Criteria weight: [30%]
Only Individual Consultants obtaining a minimum of 49 points (70%) on the Technical evaluation would be considered for the Financial Evaluation.
- Annex 1- Proposed Evaluation Workplan
- Annex 2- Structure of Evaluation Report
- Annex 3- Code of conduct