IC-077-21, International Consultant to conduct Final Evaluation of the Headway Project, UNDP Iraq


Location : Erbil, IRAQ
Application Deadline :30-Sep-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Democratic Governance and Peacebuilding
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
17-Oct-2021
Duration of Initial Contract :2 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :2 months

UNDP 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.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


Background

Brief context

The Syria refugee crisis remains the largest humanitarian and development crises in the world. United Nations agencies and NGOs continue to warn that the situation of the Syrian refugees and their host communities is increasingly becoming critical. According to the latest estimates in the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP), there are more than 10 million people – including more than 5.5 million Syrian refugees and 4.8 million members of their host communities – that need urgent support. This is the highest number of people in need in these countries since the crisis began in 2011, against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and tough socio-economic conditions. In addition, the number of those in Iraq who remain internally displaced in 2021 is around 1.2 million people (70% of which have remained displaced for over three years) with 4.1 million still in need of humanitarian assistance. 

Since the Covid-19 outbreak, restrictions on movement and enterprise affected the economy and put increasing pressures on governorates and municipalities and forced them to re-adjust priorities – which strained the relationship between state and citizens/community groups further. Thus, a virus that forces people to remain at home heightened the need for access to housing, basic services, and sustainable jobs – including those that respond to emerging market opportunities and can withstand crisis shocks.

The project to be evaluated

The action: “Strengthening the Long-Term Resilience of Subnational Authorities in countries affected by the Syrian and Iraqi Crises”, is a multi-country, multi-partner, and multi-year initiative implemented by UNDP and UN-Habitat country offices in Iraq and Lebanon. The action is based on the objectives of the EUTF MADAD: “To address longer-term resilience needs of Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries, as well as supporting host communities and their administrations”, and as such it is aligned to the framework of the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP, 2018-2019) and the related national response plans. The action responds to the “3RP Resilience/Stabilization component”, specifically its Livelihoods/Social Cohesion sector.

Overall, the joint action seeks to optimize the impact of a range of interventions by multiple actors towards improving the resilience of host and refugee populations by complementing their efforts and accurately targeting to fill the gaps in support, where a UN Partnership have a strong added value. Such complementarity required supporting institutionalization and operationalization of integrated multi-level planning and implementation of cross-sectoral actions covering basic social services as well as local economic development, including inducing employment opportunities, availing affordable housing, and improving the management of natural resources.

The action further seeks to addresses the resilience and stabilization needs of impacted and vulnerable communities in all sectors through a balanced approach between supporting longer term efforts for better systems and capacities for local development and facilitating shorter and more immediate results that would help host communities and refugees improve their state of living with tangible benefits.

Both country components adopted shortened names that were agreed on with the EU Delegations to better identify the programme at the country level and for communication purposes, namely Headway for the Iraq component and Municipal Empowerment and Resilience Project (MERP) for the Lebanon component.

The scope of this evaluation will cover the Headway project only. In Iraq, the project was designed to address needs, both thematically and geographically, that were not covered by the projects and activities existing then such as Local Area Development Programme (LADP), Funding Facility for Immediate Stabilization (FFIS), Iraq Crisis Response and Resilience Programme (ICRRP) and the Madad-funded actions implemented by other agencies and organizations. As such, the project in Iraq was built on activities and good practices under the LADP project, and interventions implemented by UNDP and UN-Habitat in the four Governorates of Dohuk, Erbil, Sulaymaniyah and Ninewa.  (Please refer to the TOR for more details)


Duties and Responsibilities

The consultant will propose a project evaluation methodology and agree on a detailed plan for the assignment as part of the application process. The methodology will be further updated after the selection process is completed, and the inception report is developed. However, in general, the consultant should adopt an integrated approach involving mixed methods of data collection and analysis tools to capture both the quantitative and qualitative results and generate evidence to substantiate all findings.

Given the multi-governorate/city nature of Headway project activities, it is important that the consultant design a data collection methodology that is representative of all components of the project in Iraq and analyze in a consistent manner within the given timeframe. The methodology should be robust enough to ensure high quality, triangulation of data sources, and verifiability of information.

It is expected that the evaluation methodology would include, but would not be limited to the following elements:

  • Desk review of Headway PRODOC and programme Description of Action (DOA), progress reports and other relevant documents.
  • In-depth interviews with key informants such as government officials, and members of local, national, coordination bodies; and questionnaires.
  • Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with the targeted beneficiaries, whenever possible.
  • Interviews with the Headway’s project teams within UNDP and UN-Habitat, and respective senior management.
  • Consultations with donors/ international partners and as relevant national Implementing Partners/Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that were engaged in Headway project implementation.
  • Survey with sample and sampling frame (if a sample is used). This could include the sample size and characteristics; the sample selection criteria; the process for selecting the sample (e.g., random, purposive).

All field-related work and relevant logistical arrangements shuld be made by the consultant and are under their responsibility.  Assistance will be provided by the joint UNDP/UN-Habitat Headway project teams in identifying key stakeholders and facilitating the schedule of interviews, focus groups and site visits, when and where required.  In case of extreme and unavoidable challenges occasioned by COVID-19 health pandemic related international travel restrictions affecting field visits, the issue will be discussed and agreed jointly between the evaluaton commissioner/s and the consultant.

Findings from the above assessment tools will be triangulated to appraise and conclude findings. All analysis must be based on observed facts, evidence, and data. Findings should be specific and concise and supported by information that is reliable and valid. Cross-cutting issues and the SDGs should be integrated into the final evaluation report. The final methodological approach including interview schedule, field visits and data to be used in the evaluation should be clearly outlined in the inception report and fully discussed and agreed between UNDP and UN-Habitat key stakeholders and the evaluator.

The consultant will be assisted by respective Project Managers. An Evaluation Reference Group (ERG) will be constituted comprising of key internal and external Headway project stakeholders who will review and comment on the inception and evaluation reports.

Overall, the evaluation will be carried out in accordance with UNDP evaluation guidelines and policies including Evaluation guidelines during COVID-19, United Nations Group Evaluation Norms and Ethical Standards; OECD/DAC evaluation principles and guidelines and DAC Evaluation Quality Standards and the relevant UN-Habitat evaluation guidelines and policies.

The Consultant will produce the following:

  1. Evaluation inception Report (15 pgs. max) and presentation: based on the terms of reference (TOR) and preliminary discussions with UNDP/UN-Habitat teams after the desk review, the consultant is expected to develop an inception report to be presented to the ERG members for comments. This inception report should detail out the evaluator’s understanding of what is being evaluated and why, the evaluation methodology that describes data collection methods and sampling plan, together with the rationale for their selection and limitations. The report should also include an evaluation matrix identifying the key evaluation questions and how they will be answered by the selected methods. Annexed workplan should include detailed schedule and resource requirements tied to evaluation activities and milestone deliverables. The presentation of the inception report is an opportunity for the Consultant and UNDP/UN-Habitat teams, for discussion and clarification prior to visiting to Iraq.
  2. Evaluation debriefing after completion of the field work in Iraq. 
  3. Draft evaluation report (50 pgs. max, including executive summary) and presentation to be submitted to the evaluation commissioner and presented to the ERG members outlining the key aspects including the overall evaluation findings, the structural implementation mechanisms created and institutionalized, an in-depth analysis of the results realized by the Headway project, and recommended next steps, if any, that could be operationalized in future through technical assistance. Feedback received from the presentation of this draft evaluation report should be considered when preparing the final report. The evaluator should produce an audit trail indicating whether and how each comment received was addressed in revisions to the final evaluation report.
  4. Final evaluation report and two summary reports: guided by the minimum requirements for a UNDP and UN-Habitat evaluation report, the draft evaluation report should be submitted to the evaluation commissioner (see annexes for proposed evaluation report format). It also includes two summary reports: (2 pgs. max each for UNDP and UN-Habitat) linking the final evaluation findings to the relevant outcome in the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF), upon review of the relevant sections of the UNDP and UN-Habitat CPDs.


Competencies

  • Knowledge on UNDP and UN-Habitat programming principles and procedures, the UN evaluation framework, norms, and standards; human rights-based approach (HRBA).
  • Demonstrates commitment to the UN values and ethical standards.
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality, and age sensitivity and adaptability.
  • Treats all people fairly and with impartiality.
  • Good communication, presentation and report writing skills including proven ability to write concise, readable, and analytical reports and high-quality publications in English.
  • Ability to work under pressure and to meet deadlines.
  • Flexible and responsive to changes and demands.
  • Client-oriented and open to feedback.

Functional Competencies:

Knowledge Management and Learning:

  • Demonstrates good knowledge of the Iraq economic issues, challenges, and opportunities.
  • Shares knowledge and experience and contributes to overall reform programmes.
  • Develops deep knowledge in practice area.
  • Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development in one or more Practice Areas, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills. 
  • Networks in Government, NGOs, and private sector.

Key Performance Indicators:

  • Planning and organizing: Identifies priority activities and assignments; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary and, uses time efficiently.
  • Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and, responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify and, exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and, format to match the audience and, demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
  • Client orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect.
  • Quality of deliverables: Professional skill required for delivering outputs will be assessed.
  • Satisfactory and timely deliverables: Satisfactory and timely completion of tasks and submission of the deliverables within the provision of above explained deliverables and, outputs.


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Minimum Master’s degree in Governance, Sociology, Development studies, Public Administration, Peace and conflict studies or any other field relevant to the assignment.

Experience:

  • At lest 10 years of professional expertise in evaluation of socio-economic stablization, crisis response and recovery, development or social transformation projects in post-conflict environments
  • At least 10 years of experience on project design, Results-Based Management (RBM) and participatory Monitoring and Evaluation methodologies and approaches is essential.
  • Experience in data collection, instrument development and data analysis both qualitative and quantitative is essential.
  • Experience in conducting evaluations for large, and complex projects in post-conflict settings is essential.
  • Experience working in, and knowledge of the Arab region is essential.
  • Experience in working with UN or other international organizations would be an asset.
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills and proven ability to draft recommendations stemming from key findings.
  • Excellent report writing skills (supported by similar sample of evaluation reports) is essential.
  • Experience using ICT equipment, office software packages and online meeting software.
  • Experience in implementing evaluations remotely.

Indicative payment schedule and modalities 

The consultant is expected to deliver the following deliverables. It should be noted that the following list of deliverables might be subject to review and revision by UNDP and UN-Habitat in discussion with the consultant in the event of unexpected changes to the context / working environment in Iraq during the consultancy period. Payments will be made upon acceptance and approval by UNDP focal point of the planned deliverables, based on the following tentative payment schedule:

Terms of Payment

Percentage (%)

  • First payment will be paid upon submission and acceptance of inception report including work plan and methodology (deliverable 1) (by 28/10/2021)

(INBOUND: the expected travel date is 29/10/2021 with +/-1 day flexibility)

15%

  • Second payment will be paid upon finalization of field visit to Iraq and debrief of the joint teams of UNDP/UN-Habitat & ERG (deliverable 2) (by 23/11/2021)

(OUTBOUND: the expected travel date is 25/11/2021 with +/- 1 day flexibility)

30%

  • Third payment will be paid upon submission and acceptance of the draft evaluation report and the two summaries (deliverable 3) (by 09/12/2021)

35%

  • Fourth and final payment will be paid upon submission and acceptance of final evaluation report and the two summaries (deliverable 4) (by 18/12/2021)

20%

Notes:

  • The payment is deliverable based, i.e., upon satisfactory completion and acceptance of the deliverable by the UNDP focal point.
  • Each payment claims must be approved by the UNDP focal point.
  • UNDP focal point will make the payments within 20 days from receipt of invoice.

Note on travel and accommodation

  • All envisaged travel costs must be included in the financial proposal including all travel within Iraq or outside the duty station/repatriation travel. In general, UNDP does not accept travel costs exceeding those of an economy class ticket.
  • In cases where UNDP arranges and provides travel and/or accommodation due to security and other reasons, it should be noted that these costs will be deducted from the payments to the consultant. UN rates applies.
  • In the case of unforeseeable travel, payment of travel costs including tickets, lodging and terminal expenses should be agreed upon in writing, between UNDP and the consultant prior to travel and will be reimbursed.

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IMPORTANT NOTICE TO INTERESTED CONSULTANTS:

  1. APPLICATION SUBMISSION PROCESS AND CRITERIA FOR SELECTION

Interested qualified and experienced individual consultant must submit the following documents and provide information to demonstrate their qualifications and interest:

  1. Letter of Confirmation of interest and availability using the template provided by UNDP.
  2. Most Updated Personal detailed CV including previous experience in similar assignment and at least 3 references.
  3. Standard UN P11 Form (“CV Form”)
  4. A detailed methodology on how the candidate will approach and conduct the work and
  5. Two samples of evaluation reports done/authored within the past three years. 

Note: All the above 5 required documents should be put together into one (1) single PDF document as the application system only allows one to upload a maximum of one document.

**Failure to submit the above-mentioned documents or Incomplete proposals shall result in disqualification

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The short listed candidates may be contacted and the successful candidate will be notified.

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THE BELOW DOCUMENTS ARE AVAILABLE AND CAN BE DOWNLOADED at the following link:  

UNDP | Procurement Notices - 83341 - IC-077-21, International Consult

  1. Terms of Reference
  2. Letter of Confirmation of interest and availability using the template provided by UNDP.
  3. Standard UN P11 Form (“CV Form”)
  4. General Conditions of Contract for Individual Contractors



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