National Consultant to Conduct Midterm Review and Revision of UN Women South Sudan Country Strategic Note (2019 – 2021)
Juba (South Sudan)
BACKGROUND AND COUNTRY CONTEXT:
On 12th September 2018, the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) was signed, an agreement expected to chart a peaceful solution to the conflict that had plagued South Sudan since 2013 and to set the country on a path to equitable development for all. Despite the signing of this agreement, the conflicts in South Sudan had far reaching consequences including displacements, loss of lives and food insecurity. South Sudan has an estimated population of 12.2 million but by late 2019, 7.5 million people (more than two thirds of the population) needed humanitarian assistance; nearly 4 million people remain displaced, and 2.2 million children of school-going age remained out of school. The country remains in a situation of severe food insecurity, with 6.4 million people considered food insecure. Protection concerns also remain significant, with the population often living in fear due to persistent insecurity, landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW), human rights violations, Sexual and Gender Based Violence among others.
The years of conflict, with only a short respite after independence, has led to massive humanitarian displacements and crisis and extremely low socio-economic indicators with massive implications for women’s rights, including extremely patriarchal and entrenched gender and social norms that discriminate against women and men. The continuous cycle of political and communal violence has all bred a culture of violence and militarization that exacerbates women and girls’ already weakened status in the society and has led to further erosion of women and girls limited community protections. South Sudan has one of the highest rates of violence against women and girls, including conflict related sexual violence, manifested at different levels – conflict related sexual violence by armed groups, within communities during ethnic/communal violence, normalization of domestic violence with almost 65% of women in various studies admitting to facing intimate partner violence and insecurity in Protection of Civilian (PoCs) sites. Displaced adolescent girls are further marginalized, often forced into child/early marriages as coping strategies, resulting in a lack of access to educational services, skills for job opportunities and decision making, and exposure to sexual exploitation and abuse. While the protracted conflict affects all populations, women are particularly vulnerable due to limitations on their mobility, shrinking safe and secure space, rights abuses and the burden of caring for children and other family members. The crisis has left most women economically and physically vulnerable by limiting their access to livelihoods opportunities, health, and educational services. South Sudan women’s participation in politics and in peacebuilding is minimal despite the 35% affirmative action on women political participation. Women’s historical exclusion in politics hinders their advancement thus widening the gender disparity in the political sphere. One constant, salient aspect of the volatile situation in South Sudan is the exclusion of women from the conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and state building processes. Women were, and remain, underrepresented in the current government
As a result of conflict, political prioritization for people of South Sudan, international community and the UN is the implementation of the 2018 Revitalized Peace Agreement, which prioritizes transitional government and a power sharing arrangement, reform/establishment of specific institutions on transitional justice and humanitarian support and reforms of sectors that are driving the conflict.
DESCRIPTION OF THE STRATEGIC NOTE:
Grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the UN, UN Women works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security. Placing women's rights at the center of all its efforts, UN women leads and coordinates the UN System efforts to ensure that commitments on gender equality and gender mainstreaming translate into action throughout the world.
The current UN Women South Sudan Strategic Note (SN) (2019-2021) was developed in a context of conflict, humanitarian crisis and challenging economic downturn, made worse for women and girls because of high levels of sexual and domestic violence, very high illiteracy rates and low skills. The programme design was to align the Country Office interventions to the implementation of the R-ARCSS but still focusing on the four priority areas i) Women’s leadership and participation in decision making ii) Women’s Economic Empowerment, iii) Prevention of violence against women and girls and iv) Peace, Security and Humanitarian Action. The current SN is also grounded in the collective vision of UN and the government, through the UN Cooperation Framework (UNCF) (2019-2021) which prioritizes work on 4 pillars; (i) building peace and strengthening governance; (ii) improving food security and recovering local economies; (iii) strengthening social services; and (iv) promoting the empowerment of women and youth, and as articulated by the South Sudan National Development Strategy (NDS) (2018-2021). These frameworks were developed based on conflict analysis, of which UN Women provided gender analysis of the conflict. The SN was designed to support the strengthening of the normative environment, and women’s voices and agency, in the achievement of all the key national and UN indicators focusing on strengthening women’s economic recovery and resilience through humanitarian action, integrating women’s participation in peacebuilding and supporting change.
PURPOSE AND USE OF THE MID-TERM REVIEW:
Under UN Women’s policies and procedures in relation to programme management, a Mid-Term Review (MTR) is mandatory for programmes of at least three years duration. Aligned with the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG) Norms and Standards for Evaluation in the UN System, the MTR has an explicit focus on utility. The primary intended users of the MTR are: i) Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare, ii) County Authorities, iii) NGOs- implementing partners, iv) Relevant UN agencies, v) UN Women at country, regional and HQ level and vi) UN Women current and potential donors.
In line with UN Women Evaluation Policy, the final MTR report together with the UN Women management response will be disclosed publicly on the UN Women GATE system and used as a basis for changes in Programme design and implementation strategies, up-scaling or replicating of interventions and providing evidence to inform UN Women strategies. The MTR is also expected to generate lessons learned about efficiency and effectiveness of UN Women support, processes, and management. The MTR will provide forward looking recommendations for effective planning, management, monitoring and evaluation of the Country Office strategies, support, and activities. The lessons identified will also feed into the UN Women future planning in South Sudan and the global strategy for women’s empowerment and gender equality promotion in fragile countries.
The specific evaluation objectives are as follows:
- To interrogate the SN’s Theory of Change;
- To assess the relevance and coherence of the implementation strategy and approaches of the programmes;
- To assess the SN’s results in terms of achievements and deviations;
- To assess effectiveness and organizational efficiency in progressing towards the achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment results as defined in the intervention;
- To assess the quality of partnerships with both implementing and technical partners;
- To assess how and in what areas the Country Office’s programmatic focus needs to be further improved to make greater impact and to contribute to the UNCF, NDS and R-ARCSS in those areas where UN Women has comparative organizational strengths;
- To analyse how UN Women needs to generate greater impact more efficiently and effectively with limited resources through leveraging partnership approach and the UN coordination mandate;
- To analyse and refine results measurement to better articulate the changes UN Women generates and propose adjustments to targets and indicators of development results framework (DRF) and organizational effectiveness and efficiency framework (OEEF);
- To contribute to lessons learned about normative, operational and coordination work by providing information about what is working well, what is not and the missed opportunities if any.
Duties and Responsibilities
SCOPE OF THE MIDTERM REVIEW
The MTR is to be conducted externally by an international consultant and a national consultant. It is planned to be completed in 45 working days in the period from 12th of October to 11th of December 2020. The MTR will include all aspects of the SN and will cover the period from January 2019 to September 2020. Due to COVID-19, the evaluation may be done remotely.
The consultant is responsible for ensuring the following:
- To conduct desk review of key Programme documents and knowledge products established by the office such as: the SN 2019-2021, Annual Work Plans (2018 and 2019), Annual Reports as well as select recent studies related to Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in South Sudan;
- To collect necessary information for the MTR;
- To coordinate with stakeholders;
- To develop an inception report outlining the approach to the consultancy including key issues to discuss with each group of partners, method of working with MTR team leader;
- To check in on key management issues, such as availability of data and evidence to allow informed and credible analysis of performance, and the ‘evaluability’ of the programme with MTR team leader;
- To develop discussion papers that will guide a MTR meeting with MTR team leader;
- To facilitate the MTR meeting with MTR team leader;
- To present the finding of the MTR at the MTR review meeting with MTR team leader to incorporate the UN Women staff’s feedback;
- To produce a MTR report with MTR team leader;
- To draft an updated SN with MTR team leader, including Theory of Change, DRF and OEEF that is reflecting the mid-term review findings.
MID_TERM REVIW DESIGN:
The MTR would be undertaken according to UN Women Evaluation Policy (https://www.unwomen.org/en/digital-library/publications/2012/10/evaluation-policy-of-the-united-nations-entity-for-gender-equality-and-the-empowerment-of-women ) and United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG) Norms and Standards for Evaluation in the UN System. The MTR will follow a gender and human rights responsive evaluation approach with standards provided in UNEG Guidance “Integrating Human Rights and Gender Equality in Evaluations” and Evaluation Handbook “How to manage gender responsive evaluation”. The key principles for gender-responsive evaluation at UN Women are: 1) National ownership and leadership; 2) UN system coordination and coherence with regard to gender equality and the empowerment of women; 3) Innovation; 4) Fair power relations and empowerment; 5) Participation and inclusion; 6) Independence and impartiality; 7) Transparency; 8) Quality and credibility; 9) Intentionality and use of evaluation; and 10) Ethics. The MTR will utilize a wide range of data sources including secondary document review and analysis, key informant interviews, group interviews and observations.
The MTR will use participatory methods to ensure that all stakeholders are consulted as part of the MTR process and a plan for inclusion of women and individuals and groups who are vulnerable and/or discriminated against in the consultation process. Efforts should be made to ensure data collection and analysis are sex and age-disaggregated where possible.
TIMEFRAME AND DELIVERABLES:
The Consultants (International Expert-Team Leader and National Counterpart) will be engaged under the Special Service Agreement (SSA), for 45 working days each during the period of 12 October to 11 December 2020. The consultants are expected to produce:
- Inception report (10 days);
- Data collection and follow up on pending interviews and additional data collection as needed (10 days);
- Draft MTR Report (15 days);
- Updated draft SN which reflects the findings of the MTR and feedback from UN Women (5 days);
- Final MTR Report (5 days).
MID-TERM REVIEW TEAM COMPOSITION:
The MTR Team will comprise of 2 Consultants, 1 International Expert who will serve as MTR Team Leader and 1 National counterpart. The Consultants will be engaged under the Special Service Agreement (SSA), for a total number of 45 working days each during that period.
- To avoid conflict of interest and undue pressure, the members of MTR team need to be independent, implying that they must not have been directly responsible for the design, or overall management of the subject of the MTR, nor expect to be in the near future;
- MTR team must have no vested interest and must have the full freedom to conduct their MTR work impartially. They must be able to express their opinion in a free manner;
- The MTR team prepares all MTR reports, which should reflect an agreed- upon MTR approach and design from the perspective of the MTR team, the Country Office MTR Manager and Regional Office Evaluation Specialist.
ETHICAL CODE OF CONDUCT:
If the consultant identifies issues of wrongdoing, fraud or other unethical conduct, UN Women procedures must be followed, and confidentiality be maintained. The UN Women Legal Framework for Addressing Non-Compliance with UN Standards of Conduct, and accompanying policies protecting against retaliation and prohibiting harassment and abuse of authority, provide a cohesive framework aimed at creating and maintaining a harmonious working environment, ensuring that staff members do not engage in any wrongdoing and that all allegations of wrongdoing are reported promptly, investigated and appropriate action taken to achieve accountability. The UN Women Legal Framework for Addressing Non-Compliance with UN Standards of Conduct defines misconduct and the mechanisms within UN Women for reporting and investigating. More information can be provided by UN Women if required.
- Respect for Diversity;
- Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues;
- Creative Problem Solving;
- Effective Communication;
- Inclusive Collaboration;
- Stakeholder Engagement;
- Leading by Example.
Required Skills and Experience
Education: Master’s degree or equivalent in Social Science, Development Studies, Gender Studies, or equivalent.
- At least 10 years of professional experience in conducting review/evaluations and research;
- Extensive experience in conducting review/evaluations and a proven record delivering professional results;
- Acquainted with UN results-based management orientation and practices;
- Statistical and analytical skills;
- Knowledge and experience in using ICT for research including remote electronic / digital data collection, analysis and reporting:
- Experience in the conduct of quantitative and qualitative research;
- Excellent communications skills both written and spoken;
- Experience in organizing and facilitating stakeholders’ consultations;
- A proficient practitioner in gender equality and women empowerment;
- Experience in the country, the region or conducting similar work in a post-conflict setting is an added advantage.
Language: Fluency in English and Arabic
- Letter of interest for the position;
- Personal CV including past experience and contact details of 3 referees (please follow the UN Women Personal History Form (P11) format available at http://www.unwomen.org/aboutus/employment);
- Technical proposal including activity plan with timelines and key tasks to be accomplished;
- Financial proposal, specifying a total lump sum amount for the tasks specified in this announcement. The financial proposal shall include a breakdown of this lump sum amount (daily fee, number of anticipated working days, and/or any other possible costs).
*Please note that the Financial Proposal is all-inclusive and shall take into account various expenses incurred by the consultant/contractor during the contract period. UN Women applies fair and transparent selection process that would take into account the competencies/skills of the applicants as well as their financial proposals.
UN Women 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.