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National Consultant (Mid-Term Review)

Kabul, Afghanistan

Short summary of the job:  This is the Terms of Reference (ToR) for -the Midterm Review (MTR) of the full-sized UNDP-supported GEF-financed project titled Adapting Afghan Communities to Climate‑Induced Disaster Risks (PIMS#5398)  implemented through the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), which is to be undertaken in 2020. The project started on September 26, 2017 and is in its 3rd year of implementation. This ToR sets out the expectations for this MTR.  The MTR process must follow the guidance outlined in the document Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects.

 

Responsibilities

The MTR team will assess the following four categories of project progress. See the Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects for extended descriptions.

 

1.    Project Strategy

Project design:

·        Support international consultant to review the problem addressed by the project and the underlying assumptions. Review the effect of any incorrect assumptions or changes to the context to achieving the project results as outlined in the Project Document.

·        Review the relevance of the project strategy and assess whether it provides the most effective route towards expected/intended results.  Were lessons from other relevant projects properly incorporated into the project design?

·        In collaboration with the international consultant, review how the project addresses country priorities. Review country ownership. Was the project concept in line with the national sector development priorities and plans of the country (or of participating countries in the case of multi-country projects)?

·        Review decision-making processes: were perspectives of those who would be affected by project decisions, those who could affect the outcomes, and those who could contribute information or other resources to the process, taken into account during project design processes?

·        Support/assist the international consultant to review the extent to which relevant gender issues were raised in the project design. See Annex 9 of Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects for further guidelines.

o   Were relevant gender issues (e.g. the impact of the project on gender equality in the programme country, involvement of women’s groups, engaging women in project activities) raised in the Project Document?

·        If there are major areas of concern, recommend areas for improvement.

 

Results Framework/Logframe:

·        Assist the international consultant to undertake a critical analysis of the project’s log-frame indicators and targets, assess how “SMART” the midterm and end-of-project targets are (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound), and suggest specific amendments/revisions to the targets and indicators as necessary.

·        Are the project’s objectives and outcomes or components clear, practical, and feasible within its time frame?

·        Examine if progress so far has led to, or could in the future catalyse beneficial development effects (i.e. income generation, gender equality and women’s empowerment, improved governance etc...) that should be included in the project results framework and monitored on an annual basis.

·        Ensure broader development and gender aspects of the project are being monitored effectively.  Develop and recommend SMART ‘development’ indicators, including sex-disaggregated indicators and indicators that capture development benefits.

·        Undertake critical analyses how the project has been delayed because of the COVID-19 and what are the mitigation measurements that the project should take to finish the project on-time with delivering all targets of the project as per agreed Results Framework/Log-frame.

.    Progress Towards Results

 

Progress Towards Outcomes Analysis:

 

·        Assist the international consultant to review the log-frame indicators against progress made towards the end-of-project targets using the Progress Towards Results Matrix and following the Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects; colour code progress in a “traffic light system” based on the level of progress achieved; assign a rating on progress for each outcome; make recommendations from the areas marked as “Not on target to be achieved” (red). Please see the logframe of the project in annexes.

 

In addition to the progress towards outcomes analysis:

·        Assist the international consultant  to compare and analyse the GEF Tracking Tool/Core Indicators at the Baseline with the one completed right before the Midterm Review.

·       Assist the international consultant to identify remaining barriers to achieving the project objective in the remainder of the project.

·        By reviewing the aspects of the project that have already been successful, identify ways in which the project can further expand these benefits.

 

2.  Project Implementation and Adaptive Management

 

Management Arrangements:

·        Review overall effectiveness of project management as outlined in the Project Document.  Have changes been made and are they effective?  Are responsibilities and reporting lines clear?  Is decision-making transparent and undertaken in a timely manner?  Recommend areas for improvement.

·        Review the quality of execution of the Executing Agency/Implementing Partner(s) and recommend areas for improvement.

·        Review the quality of support provided by the GEF Partner Agency (UNDP) and recommend areas for improvement.

·        Do the Executing Agency/Implementing Partner and/or UNDP and other partners have the capacity to deliver benefits to or involve women? If yes, how?

·         “What is the gender balance of project staff? What steps have been taken to ensure gender balance in project staff”?

·        What is the gender balance of the Project Board? What steps have been taken to ensure gender balance in the Project Board”?

 

Work Planning:

·        Review any delays in project start-up and implementation, identify the causes and examine if they have been resolved.

·        Are work-planning processes results-based?  If not, suggest ways to re-orientate work planning to focus on results?

·       Together with international consultant examine the use of the project’s results framework/ logframe as a management tool and review any changes made to it since project start. 

 

Finance and co-finance:

·        Together with international consultant consider the financial management of the project, with specific reference to the cost-effectiveness of interventions. 

·        Together with international consultant review the changes to fund allocations as a result of budget revisions and assess the appropriateness and relevance of such revisions.

·        Together with international consultant find out if the project has the appropriate financial controls, including reporting and planning, that allow management to make informed decisions regarding the budget and allow for timely flow of funds?

·        Informed by the co-financing monitoring table to be filled out by the Commissioning Unit and project team, provide commentary on co-financing: is co-financing being used strategically to help the objectives of the project? Is the Project Team meeting with all co-financing partners regularly in order to align financing priorities and annual work plans? Please see the table of co-finance in Annexes,

·        Include the separate GEF Co-Financing template (filled out by the Commissioning Unit and project team) which categorizes each co-financing amount as ‘investment mobilized’ or ‘recurrent expenditures’. 

 

Project-level Monitoring and Evaluation Systems:

·        Together with international consultant, review the monitoring tools currently being used:  Do they provide the necessary information? Do they involve key partners? Are they aligned or mainstreamed with national systems?  Do they use existing information? Are they efficient? Are they cost-effective? Are additional tools required? How could they be made more participatory and inclusive?

·        Together with international consultant examine the financial management of the project monitoring and evaluation budget.  Are sufficient resources being allocated to monitoring and evaluation? Are these resources being allocated effectively?

·        Together with international consultant, review the extent to which relevant gender issues were incorporated in monitoring systems. See Annex 9 of Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects for further guidelines.

 

Stakeholder Engagement:

·        Project management: Has the project developed and leveraged the necessary and appropriate partnerships with direct and tangential stakeholders?

·        Participation and country-driven processes: Do local and national government stakeholders support the objectives of the project?  Do they continue to have an active role in project decision-making that supports efficient and effective project implementation?

·        Participation and public awareness: To what extent has stakeholder involvement and public awareness contributed to the progress towards achievement of project objectives?

·        How does the project engage women and girls?  Is the project likely to have the same positive and/or negative effects on women and men, girls and boys?  Identify, if possible, legal, cultural, or religious constraints on women’s participation in the project.  What can the project do to enhance its gender benefits?

 

Social and Environmental Standards (Safeguards)

·        Validate the risks identified in the project’s most current SESP, and those risks’ ratings; are any revisions needed?

·        Summarize and assess the revisions made since CEO Endorsement/Approval (if any) to:

o   The project’s overall safeguards risk categorization.

o   The identified types of risks[1] (in the SESP).

o   The individual risk ratings (in the SESP) .

·        Describe and assess progress made in the implementation of the project’s social and environmental management measures as outlined in the SESP submitted at CEO Endorsement/Approval (and prepared during implementation, if any), including any revisions to those measures. Such management measures might include Environmental and Social Management Plans (ESMPs) or other management plans, though can also include aspects of a project’s design; refer to Question 6 in the SESP template for a summary of the identified management measures.

A given project should be assessed against the version of UNDP’s safeguards policy that was in effect at the time of the project’s approval.

 

Reporting:

·        Together with international consultant, assess how adaptive management changes have been reported by the project management and shared with the Project Board.

·        Together with international consultant, assess how well the Project Team and partners undertake and fulfil GEF reporting requirements (i.e. how have they addressed poorly-rated PIRs, if applicable?)

·        Together with international consultant, assess how lessons derived from the adaptive management process have been documented, shared with key partners and internalized by partners.

 

Communications & Knowledge Management:

·        Review internal project communication with stakeholders: Is communication regular and effective? Are there key stakeholders left out of communication? Are there feedback mechanisms when communication is received? Does this communication with stakeholders contribute to their awareness of project outcomes and activities and investment in the sustainability of project results?

·        Review external project communication: Are proper means of communication established or being established to express the project progress and intended impact to the public (is there a web presence, for example? Or did the project implement appropriate outreach and public awareness campaigns?)

·        For reporting purposes, write one half-page paragraph that summarizes the project’s progress towards results in terms of contribution to sustainable development benefits, as well as global environmental benefits.

·        List knowledge activities/products developed (based on knowledge management approach approved at CEO Endorsement/Approval).

 

3.   Sustainability

·        Validate whether the risks identified in the Project Document, Annual Project Review/PIRs and the ATLAS Risk Register are the most important and whether the risk ratings applied are appropriate and up to date. If not, explain why.

·        In addition, assess the following risks to sustainability:

 

Financial risks to sustainability:

·        What is the likelihood of financial and economic resources not being available once the GEF assistance ends (consider potential resources can be from multiple sources, such as the public and private sectors, income generating activities, and other funding that will be adequate financial resources for sustaining project’s outcomes)?

 

Socio-economic risks to sustainability:

·        Are there any social or political risks that may jeopardize sustainability of project outcomes? What is the risk that the level of stakeholder ownership (including ownership by governments and other key stakeholders) will be insufficient to allow for the project outcomes/benefits to be sustained? Do the various key stakeholders see that it is in their interest that the project benefits continue to flow? Is there sufficient public / stakeholder awareness in support of the long-term objectives of the project? Are lessons learned being documented by the Project Team on a continual basis and shared/ transferred to appropriate parties who could learn from the project and potentially replicate and/or scale it in the future?

 

Institutional Framework and Governance risks to sustainability:

·        Do the legal frameworks, policies, governance structures and processes pose risks that may jeopardize sustenance of project benefits? While assessing this parameter, also consider if the required systems/ mechanisms for accountability, transparency, and technical knowledge transfer are in place.

 

Environmental risks to sustainability:

·        Are there any environmental risks that may jeopardize sustenance of project outcomes?

 

Conclusions & Recommendations

 

The MTR team will include a section in the MTR report for evidence-based conclusions, in light of the findings.

 

Additionally, the MTR consultant/team is expected to make recommendations to the Project Team. Recommendations should be succinct suggestions for critical intervention that are specific, measurable, achievable, and relevant. A recommendation table should be put in the report’s executive summary. See the Guidance For Conducting Midterm Reviews of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects for guidance on a recommendation table.

 

The MTR team should make no more than 15 recommendations in total.

Ratings

 

The MTR team will include its ratings of the project’s results and brief descriptions of the associated achievements in a MTR Ratings & Achievement Summary Table in the Executive Summary of the MTR report. See Annex E for ratings scales. No rating on Project Strategy and no overall project rating is required.

 

Table. MTR Ratings & Achievement Summary Table for (Adapting Afghan Communities to Climate‑Induced Disaster Risks)

Measure

MTR Rating

Achievement Description

Project Strategy

N/A

 

Progress Towards Results

Objective Achievement Rating: (rate 6 pt. scale)

 

Outcome 1 Achievement Rating: (rate 6 pt. scale)

 

Outcome 2 Achievement Rating: (rate 6 pt. scale)

 

Outcome 3 Achievement Rating: (rate 6 pt. scale)

 

Etc.

 

Project Implementation & Adaptive Management

(rate 6 pt. scale)

 

Sustainability

(rate 4 pt. scale)

 

 



 



















4.     TIMEFRAME

 

The total duration of the MTR will be approximately 35 working days over a time period of 12 of weeks and shall not exceed five months from when the consultant(s) are hired. The tentative MTR timeframe is as follows:

 

 

ACTIVITY

 

 

NUMBER OF WORKING DAYS

COMPLETION DATE

Document review and preparing MTR Inception Report (MTR Inception Report due no later than 2 weeks before the MTR mission)

5 working days

October 15, 2020

MTR mission: stakeholder meetings, interviews, field visits

 

12 Working days

November 10, 2020

Presentation of initial findings- last day of the MTR mission

One working day

November 16, 2020

Preparing draft report (due within 3 weeks of the MTR mission)

12 Working days

December 10, 2020

Finalization of MTR report/ Incorporating audit trail from feedback on draft report (due within 1 week of receiving UNDP comments on the draft)

5 working days

December 31, 2020

 

Options for site visits should be provided in the Inception Report.

5.     MIDTERM REVIEW DELIVERABLES

 

#

Deliverable

Description

Timing

Responsibilities

1

MTR Inception Report

MTR team clarifies objectives and methods of Midterm Review

No later than October 15, 2020

 

MTR team submits to the Commissioning Unit and project management

2

Presentation

Initial Findings

End of MTR mission (November 10, 2020)

MTR Team presents to project management and the Commissioning Unit

3

Draft MTR Report

Full draft report (using guidelines on content outlined in Annex B) with annexes

Within 3 weeks of the MTR mission (December 10, 2020)

Sent to the Commissioning Unit, reviewed by RTA, Project Coordinating Unit, GEF OFP

4

Final Report*

Revised report with audit trail detailing how all received comments have (and have not) been addressed in the final MTR report

Within 1 week of receiving UNDP comments on draft (December 31, 2020)

Sent to the Commissioning Unit

*The final MTR report must be in English. If applicable, the Commissioning Unit may choose to arrange for a translation of the report into a language more widely shared by national stakeholders.

6.     MTR ARRANGEMENTS

 

The principal responsibility for managing this MTR resides with the Commissioning Unit. The Commissioning Unit for this project’s MTR is the UNDP Afghanistan Country Office.

 

The Commissioning Unit will contract the consultants and ensure the timely provision of per diems and travel arrangements within the country for the MTR team and will provide an updated stakeholder list with contact details (phone and email). The Project Team will be responsible for liaising with the MTR team to provide all relevant documents, set up stakeholder interviews, and arrange field visits.

 

7.      TEAM COMPOSITION

 

A team of two independent consultants will conduct the MTR - one team leader (with experience and exposure to projects and evaluations in other regions globally) and one team expert (National Consultant), from the country of the project.  The team leader (International Consultant) will be responsible for the overall design and writing of the Mid-term Evaluation Report and may work from home considering the COVID-19 mitigation measurements.   The team expert (National Consultant) will assess emerging trends with respect to regulatory frameworks, budget allocations, capacity building, work with the Project Team in developing the MTR itinerary and will go to the relevant provinces to collect the required data and will have regular communication with the international consultant and make sure the data collected is correct and align with the GEF requirements. The consultants cannot have participated in the project preparation, formulation, and/or implementation (including the writing of the Project Document) and should not have a conflict of interest with project’s related activities.

 

The selection of consultants will be aimed at maximizing the overall “team” qualities in the following areas:

Scope of Work and Deliverables

Deliverable 1: MTR Inception Report:  Document review and preparing MTR Inception Report (MTR Inception Report due no later than 2 weeks before the MTR mission), 5 working days to be completed on October 15, 2020;

Deliverable 2: Presentation of initial findings- last day of the MTR mission, one working day, to be completed on November 10, 2020;

Deliverable 3: Preparing draft report (due within 3 weeks of the MTR mission), 24 Working days, to be completed on December 10 2020;

Deliverable 4: Finalization of MTR report/ Incorporating audit trail from feedback on draft report (due within 1 week of receiving UNDP comments on the draft), 5 working days to be completed on December 31, 2020.

Payment Schedule

·        20% payment upon satisfactory delivery of the final MTR Inception Report and approval by the Commissioning Unit;

·        40% payment upon satisfactory delivery of the draft MTR report to the Commissioning Unit;

·        40% payment upon satisfactory delivery of the final MTR report and approval by the Commissioning Unit and RTA (via signatures on the TE Report Clearance Form) and delivery of completed TE Audit Trail.


What's great in the job?

Corporate Competencies:

·        Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards;

·        Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;

·        Treats all people fairly without favoritism.

 

Functional Competencies:

Knowledge Management and Learning:

·        In-depth practical knowledge of inter-disciplinary development issues;

·        Seeks and applies knowledge, information, and best practices from within and outside of UNDP.

Development and Operational Effectiveness:

·        Ability to lead strategic planning, change processes, results-based management and reporting;

·        Ability to lead formulation, oversight of implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development projects;

·        Ability to apply development theory to the specific country context to identify creative, practical approaches to overcome challenging situations.

 

Management and Leadership:

 

·        Builds strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback;

·        Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;

·        Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities;

·        Ability to lead effectively, mentoring as well as conflict resolution skills;

·        Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills;

·        Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure;

·        Proven networking, team-building, organizational and communication skills

 

Experience:

·        Relevant experience with result-based management evaluation methodologies;

·        Experience applying SMART indicators and reconstructing or validating baseline scenarios;

·        Experience in evaluating projects;

·        Experience in relevant technical areas for at least 2 years;

·        Demonstrated understanding of issues related to gender and Climate Change Adaptation;

·        Basic experience in gender sensitive evaluation and analysis;

·        Excellent communication skills;

·        Demonstrable analytical skills;

·        Project evaluation/review experiences within United Nations system will be considered an asset;

·        Experience with implementing evaluations remotely will be considered an asset.

 

Job Location: Kabul (travel to Nangarhar and Jawzjan for data collection)

Education:

·        A Bachelor’s degree in Environment, Climate Change, Natural resources, or other closely related field

Language

·        Fluency in written and spoken English, Pashto and Dari.

Contract Duration:

 35 working days within 3 months (01 October 2020 – 31 December 2020).

Probationary Period:

NO

Work Location:

Kabul (travel to Nangarhar and Jawzjan for data collection)

Hiring For:

AHG-UNDP