International consultant for final project evaluation
The UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021 sets out the direction for UNDP to support countries to end extreme poverty, reduce inequality, advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and achieve the goals of the Agenda 2030. Essential instruments of the work are solutions exchange, promotion of innovations, knowledge-sharing, leveraging expertise and building capacity of partners.
The Russian Federation has been an active provider of expertise for developing countries and stays committed to use the achievements in science and technology to contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Concept of the Russian Federation's State Policy in the Area of International Development Assistance provides for sharing of expertise with a view to strengthening institutional and human capacity in the areas of health, education, environmental protection, disaster management, counterterrorism, etc.
Russian experts possess both local experience highly relevant for the local context in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and international expertise accumulated via strong international cooperation of Russian think tanks and educational institutions. Russia is actively sharing its know-how in pediatric care, children and mother’s health protection, HIV response, sanitary and epidemiological safety, food security, education quality assessment, emergency response, financial monitoring, and so on.
In January 2015, the Russian Federation and UNDP signed the Partnership Framework Agreement (PFA) to bring the cooperation to a qualitatively new level and emphasized the growing role of Russia as a donor in advancing the development agenda throughout the world. Cooperation under the PFA envisages ‘leveraging the knowledge , experience and expertise in development cooperation, including by involving academic institutions and individual experts from the Russian Federation in accordance with UNDP’s applicable regulations and rules, and policies and procedures as set forth in UNDP’s POPP when done through UNDP development projects/programmes’ (PFA Article 2).
The establishment of the Russia-UNDP Trust Fund for Development (TFD) in 2015 made it possible to work out a sustainable financial mechanism for providing Russian assistance to the CIS countries, as well as countries in other regions with low and lower middle income. To date, Russia’s financial contributions to the TFD amounts to $95 million to implement UNDP projects in such countries as Armenia, Belarus, Botswana, Cambodia, Cuba, Guinea, Kenia, Kyrgyzstan, Lao PDR, Madagascar, Pacific SIDS, Serbia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe and others. The TFD Agreement states that ‘a small portion of the annual Fund’s budget (up to 10%) can be allocated by the [TFD] Steering Committee to knowledge management and capacity building projects with Russian ministries and agencies involved in international development assistance’.
About the Project
The regional project “Knowledge Management and Capacity Building in Russia-UNDP Partnership” (Project) Phase I was launched in 2016 to support newly established Russia-UNDP Partnership and the TFD by promoting innovations in expertise and knowledge sharing between Russia and partner countries. Phase I resulted in many positive outcomes and confirmed high relevance of Russian expertise for the development challenges in partner countries, especially in the CIS regions to be developed in Phase II.
The outcome of the Project Phase II as stated in the Regional Programme Results and Resource Framework is addressing the poverty and inequalities through more inclusive and sustainable development pathways. The outcome is being achieved through expertise and knowledge sharing and establishing new diverse partnerships with emerging donors and other stakeholders as stipulated in the Russia-UNDP PFA and the TFD Agreement and to address the SDGs and the priorities of the UNDP Strategic Plan for 2018-2021.
The main goal of the Project in Phase II is to scale up several mechanisms of Russian expertise sharing applied in Phase I to support achievement of sustainable, scalable development impact in UNDP partner countries.
The Project is funded by the Government of the Russian Federation through the TFD and directly implemented by UNDP IRH in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation and with the project management and implementation support by the Project team based in Moscow, Russian Federation, under the overall supervision of the IRH Partnerships Team Leader and the direct supervision of the Head of Partnership Support Office in the Russian Federation, Manager of the Russia-UNDP Trust Fund for Development.
The Project is structured around four main activities:
1. Database of Russian experts for international development and Russian Experts on Demand programme
The database containing the Russian experts’ profiles is located on the website expertsfordevelopment.ru created in Phase I. The website and the database are being maintained and regularly replenished with experts’ profiles, news on the Partnership, the TFD and the Project itself. The database is facilitating synergies and smoother implementation of the Experts on Demand programme by serving as a convenient source to find experts for specific assignments on demand.
The Experts on Demand programme provides an instrument for knowledge and know-how sharing via rapid deployment of Russian experts for on demand small-scale interventions and consultancies and peer-to-peer knowledge sharing for promoting innovations in Russian knowledge and expertise sharing and strengthening the human resources and expert database on international development assistance of the Russian Federation for development impact.
2. Knowledge sharing under the Russia-UNDP partnership
The Project is providing information, coordination and technical support to implementation of the Russia-UNDP PFA and the TFD agreement via:
- Support to Russia-funded and other UNDP projects in identifying and locating Russian expertise;
- Monitoring of the knowledge management and visibility dimensions of the Russia-funded UNDP projects;
- Advisory support to UNDP COs;
- Supporting monitoring missions of Russia-funded UNDP projects;
- Facilitating participation of Russian officials/experts in UNDP events and UNDP high-level visits to Russia.
3. Volunteering programme (via the UNV parallel funding modality)
The programme is to enhance the Russia-UNV partnership and to support in promoting deployment of Russian nationals in development projects as UN Volunteers via Full Funding Programme, expanding the number of qualified Russian nationals in the UNV roster and attracting Russian nationals to online volunteering.
4. Internship and secondment programme
The activity arranges hiring interns and secondees with a Russian citizenship to facilitate their contribution to UNDP work on sustainable development agenda while simultaneously enhancing their professional background, and to promote the formation of a pool of young specialists.
Partnerships. The Project is being implemented in close cooperation with the three ministries of the Russian Federation: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Economic Development. Under the various components the Project team is reaching out to the Russian agencies (Rosstat, Roshydromet), research and educational institutions, such as Agency of Strategic Initiatives, Association of Volunteer Centers, Association of Clusters and Technoparks, Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF), KB Strelka Consulting company, Higher School of Economics, Moscow Agency of Innovations, Moscow State Institution of International Relations (MGIMO), WorldSkills Russia, and other Russian institutions to collaborate on specific partnership-related activities. The Project closely works with the UNDP offices in the countries implemented the TFD-funded projects and under the Experts on Demand and Internship programmes and is partnering with the Eurasian Development Bank. An indicative list of main stakeholders that may be considered for meetings is provided in Annex 2.
Beneficiaries. The Project uses the triangular cooperation modality in a form of Russia-UNDP-partner countries to facilitate sustainable, scalable development impact in partner countries through the programmatic promotion of several mechanisms of Russian expertise transfer. Russia provides financial support and serves as a source of expertise. UNDP applies its know-how and experience in facilitating knowledge sharing and supporting capacity building of development donors. Partner countries are the ultimate beneficiaries of the project.
Senior Beneficiary is individual or group of individuals representing the interests of those who will ultimately
benefit from the project. The Senior Beneficiary’s primary function within the Board is to ensure the implementation of project results from the perspective of project beneficiaries. The IRH Country Office Support Team will represent the UNDP COs in the role of Senior Beneficiary.
Project relevance and alignment. The Project is contributing to the Regional Programme for Europe and the CIS (2018-2021) Outcome 2: Addressing poverty and inequalities through more inclusive and sustainable development pathways as well as it is aligned with the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and the Russia-UNDP PFA: Leveraging the knowledge, experience and expertise in development cooperation and the TFD agreement supporting knowledge management and capacity building projects, developed in partnership with and using the knowledge, experience and expertise of Russian ministries, agencies, think tanks, universities and NGOs involved in international development cooperation. The Project contributes to targets set within the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 17: Partnerships for the Goals. List of relevant documentation is provided in Annex 3.
Main achievements. During the Project cycle in the Phase II, the following results were attained:
- Database of Russian Experts for international development and Russian Experts on Demand programme
The expertsfordevelopment.ru website and the database was created, maintained, updated and replenished (78 news were posted, and more than 250 expert profiles are registered) to ensure information support to the PFA, TFD and Project implementation, and provide visibility for Russian knowledge and expertise. Under the Experts on Demand programme 29 consultancy assignments in a range of countries in the region were completed, 24 are in progress to be finalized by the end of the project (totally 66 applications were submitted by the UNDP COs, 58 applications approved, 5 withdrawn).
- Knowledge sharing under the Russian Federation-UNDP partnership
The assistance and support provided by the Project to the eligible UNDP COs contributed to achievement of the specific development results in UNDP programme countries via gaining access and deploying Russian expertise for the Russia-funded projects and other initiatives. The Project also provided input to implementation of the PFA and TFD agreements by facilitating Partnership consultations, preparation of annual reports and reviews, visibility and other materials and support to identifying and promoting relevant Russian expertise and achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women. The Project facilitated organization of the TFD monitoring missions to the countries where the TFD projects are implemented.
- Volunteering programme (parallel funding)
The partnership between UNV and the Russian Federation is enhancing: the Government of the Russian Federation contributed $3 mln to the Russia-UNV Full Funding programme; a number of qualified Russian nationals in the UNV roster, of candidates and eligible organizations in the UNV online volunteering platform https://www.onlinevolunteering.org/en and of Russian nationals deployed as UN Volunteers in UN offices increased up to 4 000, 450 and 48 persons respectively.
- Internship and secondment programme
40 Russian students were deployed in the UNDP offices and 30 successfully completed the internships in 7 countries and the IRH and 10 internships are in process (including in remote mode partially in 2020 and fully in 2021).
Development of the secondment programme was one of the project’s activities with many preparatory works conducted in the previous years. However, ultimately it was decided by the Project Board in 2020 to move away from its implementation due high and unavoidable impact of the one of the regulatory risks initially envisaged in the Project Document: “legislation or internal procedures in the ministries impeding the implementation of the secondment programme”. The funds initially allocated to the secondment programme for civil servants have been partially reallocated to secondments of specialists of Russian institutions (to be launched after lifting travel restrictions) and the Experts on Demand programme. Due to the ongoing pandemic the Project funds is proposed to reallocate to new activity “Innovative Solutions Challenge Fund” as an instrument to facilitate sharing of know-how and innovative ideas and solutions, new methods, approaches or products by Russian institutions.
As of 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic as the new coronavirus rapidly spread to all regions of the world and has triggered a serious economic crisis over the world including Russia and other CIS countries. In the face of the pandemic and travel restrictions in all countries, the Project team explored a possibility to continue providing support to the UNDP COs and their national partners by reprogramming of the activities to online format with no travel to avoid the risk of infection.
Duties and Responsibilities
II. Evaluation purpose, objectives and scope
The purpose of the Final Project Evaluation is to provide an impartial review of the Project in terms of its relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, sustainability, management and achievements including impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the Project implementation and reprogramming, if any, of the Project activities. The information, findings, lessons learned and recommendations generated by the evaluation will be used by the Project Board, UNDP, and by the implementing partners to strengthen the remaining project implementation and the Phase III which is being elaborating.
The evaluation objective is to examine the overall performance of the Project, its results, inputs and activities, and how the outputs delivered added value to the efforts of national governments in UNDP partner countries to strengthen mutual cooperation with UNDP in reducing poverty and achieving sustainable development in the CIS and other regions by capacity building on knowledge management which follows the SDG 17 and is rooted in the priorities of the UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021. In a substantive analysis of the effectiveness of the project approach and feedback from beneficiaries, the evaluation should highlight strengths, weaknesses/gaps, good practices and impact of COVID-19 on the project and provide forward-looking actionable recommendations to the Russian Federation and UNDP for scaling up support on Russian expertise sharing, rolling out sustainable knowledge management and dissemination of lessons learned.
The evaluation will assess the extent to which the specific project objective/outcome and results/outputs have been achieved since the beginning of the project and likelihood for their full achievement by the end of the project in June 2021 (based on the Project Document and results framework). The evaluation will look into all project activities and processes implemented in the CIS and other countries.
Specifically, the evaluation will review and make recommendation regarding the implementation of the critical project’s aspects, such as strategies, implementation mechanisms and partnerships with the UNDP COs as well as knowledge sharing with the UNDP national partners in countries and support to the Partnership and the TFD implementation.
III. Evaluation criteria and key questions (based on OECD DAC criteria)
The Project evaluation is to answer the following questions to determine the project’s relevance, performance, results, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability, including lessons learned and forward-looking recommendations. The evaluation questions are summarized below.
- Were the Project’s objectives relevant to the needs of the UNDP partner countries in terms of their social and economic development?
- To what extent is the project aligned with the relevant national development priorities in the partner countries as the beneficiaries, UNDP strategic objectives and SDG 17 - partnership?
- To what extent does the Project contribute to gender equality and empowerment of women?
- To what extent were the Project activities implemented and intended results and the specific objective/outcome achieved and reported? What are the main project accomplishments? Please provide outline of a measurable overview of the project results against the indicators and their target values/statements as defined in the Project results framework.
- What are the positive or negative, intended or unintended, changes brought about by the Project’s interventions? This may, inter alia, include an overview of benefits the Project brought to beneficiary institutions and citizens in partner countries.
- What factors have contributed to achieving or not achieving the intended specific objective/outcome and outputs/results?
- To what extent has the Project contributed to strengthening partnership between UNDP and the Russian Federation?
- To what extent has the Project managed to perform sharing of Russian knowledge, expertise and know-how to the UNDP COs and their national partners?
- How COVID-19 affected or limited the Project activities and what actions were undertaken to offset the negative impact?
- Assess the degree to which project implementation was flexible and adaptive to the context.
- Whether the Project has utilized the project funding as per the agreed work plan to achieve the projected targets?
- Have resources (financial, human, technical) been allocated strategically to achieve the Project results?
- Are there any weaknesses in the Project design, management, human resource skills, and resources?
- Analyse the role of the Project Board and whether it is optimally being used for decision making.
- Assess the timeline and quality of the reporting followed by the Project.
- Identify factors and constraints, which have affected the Project implementation including technical, managerial, organizational, institutional and socio-economic policy issues in addition to COVID-19 related challenges and other external factors unforeseen during the Project design.
- What are the Project effects and impact in terms of implemented Project activities, both in qualitative, and quantitative terms, on achievement of specific development results by partner countries via providing small scale feasibility studies, on-site assessments, scoping missions, trainings, workshops, conference contributions, and various types of bilateral consultations?
- To what extent are key stakeholders/final beneficiaries satisfied with the Project implementation, specifically in terms of the partnership support and what are specific expectations for the potential follow-up assistance?
- How the implementation and interventions of the Project may have been impacted by reprogramming if any?
- To what extent the Project outputs/results are likely to be sustainable beyond the Project’s lifetime? How could the Project results be further sustainably projected and expanded in the countries?
- What would be future priority interventions to ensure long-term sustainability of the project’s achievements and contribute to further sharing knowledge and expertise to partner countries?
- How has the Project enhanced and contributed to the development of national capacity?
- Analyse the main lessons learnt in relation to the effectiveness of implementation modalities.
The International Evaluation Consultant (the Consultant) will propose an evaluation methodology and agree on a detailed plan for the assignment as a part of the evaluation Inception Report. The proposed methodology may employ any relevant and appropriate quantitative, qualitative or combined methods to conduct the Final Project Evaluation, exploring specific gender sensitive data collecting and analytical methods and tools applicable in the concrete case. The Consultant is expected to creatively combine the standard and other evaluation tools and technics to ensure maximum reliability of data and validity of the evaluation findings.
Standard UNDP evaluation methodology would suggest the following data collecting methods:
- Desk review: The Consultant will conduct a detailed review of the programmatic materials and deliverables including the Project Document, results framework, monitoring and project quality assurance reports, annual workplans, progress and annual reports etc. An indicative list of documents for desk review is provided in Annex 3.
- Key informant interviews: The Consultant will interview representatives of main institutional partners, UNDP, other relevant stakeholders. For the interviews, the Consultant is expected to design evaluation questions around relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability criteria, according to different stakeholders to be interviewed. An indicative list of main stakeholders that may be considered for meetings is provided in Annex 2.
- Meetings (min 2, max 5) via Zoom or WhatsApp with will be arranged to meet with beneficiaries and stakeholders and review the results of the Project;
- Other methodologies, as appropriate, such as surveys, case studies, statistical analysis, social network analysis, etc.
As an integral part of the evaluation report and specifically under the impact criteria, the Consultant will review the project effects and impact on its target groups. In this context, the consultancy is expected to gain insights from the key national and international players in knowledge and experience sharing.
Stakeholders involvement: During the evaluation process, to assess project performance, approach and modalities, the Consultant is expected to meet UNDO COs’ representatives, key partners and stakeholders, including the ministries of the Russian Federation and members of Project Board etc. Initial briefing and evaluation debriefing to obtain the critical feedback on the evaluation findings, are envisaged. In addition, the views of the Project actors, such as consultants and interns, will be considered to obtain critical insight and information on the project activities and results. During these meetings, it would be important to record and accumulate inputs necessary not only for the project evaluation, but also to highlight recommendations and advise on potential project follow-up phase.
The COVID-19 global pandemic made travel to the countries impossible. In this case the evaluation team should develop a methodology that takes this into account the conduct of the evaluation virtually and remotely, including the use of remote interview methods and extended desk reviews, data analysis, surveys and evaluation questionnaires. This should be detailed in the Inception report and agreed with the Evaluation Manager.
If all or part of the evaluation is to be carried out virtually then consideration should be taken for stakeholder availability, ability or willingness to be interviewed remotely. In addition, their accessibility to the internet/ computer may be an issue as many government and national counterparts may be working from home. These limitations must be reflected in the evaluation report.
If a data collection/field mission is not possible then remote interviews may be undertaken through telephone or online (skype, zoom etc.). International consultants can work remotely with national evaluator support in the field if it is safe for them to operate and travel. No stakeholders, consultants or UNDP staff should be put in harm’s way and safety is the key priority.
The expected duration of the assignment is up to 23 workdays in the period mid-July – mid August 2021.
- Demonstrates integrity and fairness by modelling UN values and ethical standards;
- Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.
- Demonstrates professional competence to meet responsibilities and post requirements and is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results;
- Results-Orientation: Plans and produces quality results to meet established goals, generates innovative, practical solutions to challenging situations;
- Communication: Excellent communication skills, including the ability to convey complex concepts and recommendations, both orally and in writing, in a clear and persuasive style tailored to match different audiences;
- Teamwork: Ability to interact, establish and maintain effective working relations with a culturally diverse team;
- Client orientation: Ability to establish and maintain productive partnerships with national partners and stakeholders and pro-activeness in identifying of beneficiaries and partners’ needs and matching them to appropriate solutions.
Required Skills and Experience
- Advanced university degree in international relations, social sciences, economics, public administration, or other related sciences; MA in any of indicated fields is considered an advantage.
- At least 3 years of extensive expertise and experience in evaluations of the projects/programmes;
- Sound knowledge of UNDP results-based management systems, and gender-sensitive monitoring and evaluation methodologies;
- General understanding and knowledge of the political/administrative and development context of the CIS region, with specific focus on project targeted beneficiaries and stakeholders;
- Experience of working in the CIS region is an asset;
- Proven analytical skills and ability to conceptualize and write concisely and clearly.
- Fluency in Russian and English.
- Excellent computer skills (MS Office applications) and ability to use information technologies as a tool and resource.
Evaluation of Applicants
Individual consultants will be evaluated based on a cumulative analysis taking into consideration the combination of the applicants’ qualifications and financial proposal.
The award of the contract should be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:
a) responsive/compliant/acceptable, and
b) Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical (P11 desk reviews and interviews) and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.
Only highest ranked candidates who would be found qualified for the job based on the P11 desk review will be invited for an interview”.
Technical Criteria - 70% of total evaluation – max. 70 points:
Criteria A (Relevant education) – max points: 5
Criteria B (Experience) – max points: 25
Criteria C (knowledge of English and Russian) – max points: 10
Criteria D – interviews (expertise in evaluation of projects/programmes will be scored and evaluated) – max 10
Criteria E - interview (knowledge of results-based management systems will be scored and evaluated) – max 10
Criteria F – interview (knowledge of development context of the CIS region will be scored and evaluated) – max 10
Financial Criteria - 30% of total evaluation – max. 30 points
The financial proposal will specify a total lump sum amount and payment terms around specific and measurable (qualitative and quantitative) deliverables. Payments are based upon delivery of the services specified in the TOR and according to the lump sum breakdown as presented below.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and the closed borders evaluation will be conducted online through Interview and desk review.
## of working days per task for Consultant
Tentative due date
Initial meeting with the project owners and desk review;
Inception report including detailed evaluation workplan
19 July 2021
Evaluation and data collection;
Two pager presentation with main messages resulting from the evaluation, including main findings, highlighting success, challenges, and the political value of the interventions and recommendations
6 August 2021
Submission of the Final Evaluation Project Report
11 August 2021
VII. Application procedures
Qualified candidates are requested to apply online via this website. The application should contain:
Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please make sure you have provided all requested materials.
*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 (e.g. fee, health insurance, personal security needs and any other relevant expenses related to the performance of services). Travel is not envisaged due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and the closed borders.
Payments will be made only upon confirmation of UNDP on delivering on the contract obligations in a satisfactory manner.
In line with the UNDP’s financial regulations, when determined by the IRH and/or the Consultant that a deliverable or service cannot be satisfactorily completed due to the impact of COVID-19 and limitations to the evaluation, that deliverable or service will not be paid.
Due to the current COVID-19 situation and its implications, an extension of the contract may be considered if the consultant invested time towards the deliverable but was unable to complete to circumstances beyond his/her control.
Qualified women and members of minorities are encouraged to apply.
Due to large number of applications we receive, we are able to inform only the successful candidates about the outcome or status of the selection process.
VIII. Evaluation ethics
This evaluation will be conducted in accordance with the principles outlined in the UNEG 'Ethical Guidelines for Evaluations'. The consultant must safeguard the rights and confidentiality of information providers, interviewees and stakeholders through measures to ensure compliance with legal and other relevant codes governing collection of data and reporting on data. The consultant must also ensure security of collected information before and after the evaluation and protocols to ensure anonymity and confidentiality of sources of information where that is expected. The information knowledge and data gathered in the evaluation process must also be solely used for the evaluation and not for other uses with the express authorization of UNDP and partners.
IX. TOR annexes
Annex 1. Project results framework
Annex 2. Indicative list of main stakeholders to be interviewed in evaluation
Annex 3. List of documents to be considered for the evaluation desk review
Annex 4. Evaluation matrix template
Annex 5. Standard outline for the UNDP evaluation report
All other attachments can be found under: http://procurement-notices-admin.undp.org/view_notice.cfm?notice_id=79260