National Consultant for Terminal Evaluation of the Application of Ridge to Reef (R2R) Concept for Biodiversity Conservation and of the Enhancement of Ecosystem Services and Cultural Heritage in Niue (IC2021/WSM/057)


Location : Home-based, SAMOA
Application Deadline :10-Feb-22 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Duration of Initial Contract :26 days
Expected Duration of Assignment :8 weeks

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

In accordance with UNDP and GEF M&E policies and procedures, all full- and medium-sized UNDP-supported GEF-financed projects are required to undergo a Terminal Evaluation (TE) at the end of the project. This Terms of Reference (ToR) sets out the expectations for the TE of the full-sized project titled Application of Ridge to Reef Concept for Biodiversity Conservation and of the Enhancement of Ecosystem Services and Cultural Heritage in Niue (PIMS 5258) implemented through Niue Ministry of Natural Resources. The project started on the 21 April 2016 and is in its fifth year of implementation. The TE process must follow the guidance outlined in the document ‘Guidance for Conducting Terminal Evaluations of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects’.

 

The project was designed to enhance Niue’s capacity to effectively create and manage protected areas for biodiversity conservation, sustainable use of natural resources, and safeguarding of ecosystem services.  It focuses on the expansion of its protected estate on land and on its marine areas through a combination of community conservation areas and government-led protected areas.  In Community Conservation Areas, both strict protection and sustainable use zones will be identified and planned carefully, using innovative protection tools recognizing that tenure over most land areas is vested in local communities. 

This project has been designed to engineer a paradigm shift in the management of terrestrial, coastal and marine protected sites from a site-centric approach to a holistic “ridge to reef” comprehensive approach.  Through this approach, activities in the immediate production landscapes adjacent to marine and terrestrial protected areas will be managed to reduce threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services stemming from key production activities (e.g. tourism and agriculture). 

Additionally, the project also introduces the concept of connectivity between landscape and seascape in Niue.  Terrestrial protected areas will include a landscape that links strictly protected community areas (tapu) to each other to enhance their integrity and to form a functional ecological corridor between them.  Similarly, the creation of a Marine Protected Area at Beveridge Reef also satisfies the integrated and holistic approach promoted by the project by recognizing the link that is thought to exist between the Reef and mainland Niue through which the former serves as a source of recruitment for clams and other marine species that make up Niue’s coral reefs.

 

The primary objective of the project is to strengthen conservation and sustainable use of land, water and marine areas and their biodiversity by building on their cultural heritage values through integrated national and community actions and this will be achieved through the following outcomes;

 

Outcome 1:   New community conservation and national protected areas established at different levels, thus reducing threats, and improving biodiversity status of conservation areas through effective community management

 

Outcome 1 identifies communities as the agents of management and monitoring.  It comprises the major project interventions on the ground leading to protective measures at different levels and through different instruments thus reducing threats and improving biodiversity status.  A large part of the work will be carried out primarily by empowering Village Councils and Communities as owners. 

 

Outcome 2:  Strengthened community and cross-sectoral involvement of relevant national government departments to promote effective Ridge to Reef management by mainstreaming biodiversity and environmental concerns into plans and actions

 

Outcome 2 is focussed primarily upstream at the central and local government levels and it targets institutional strengthening, capacity building and other foundational elements.  At the local, Village Council level this Outcome seeks a stronger institutional foundation and enhanced capacities, likewise among central government functionaries.  Institutional strengthening will be achieved through policy and regulatory reforms at central level but also through by-laws at Local Level.  Capacities will be enhanced through the provision of expertise and know-how for land use planning and management, protected area management (including for eco-tourism), species protection and management, sustainability. Under this Outcome, the project will also make provision for information sharing, awareness raising, learning and outreach.

 

The total GEF trust funds for this project is US$4,194,862 with in-kind co-financing of US$11,068,600. The project document was signed in April 2016. The executing agency for this project is the Ministry of Natural Resources and responsible parties are the Department of Education, Taoga Niue, Department of Public Works (Water), Office of the Premier, Treasury Department and the United Nations Development Programme .

 

Due to the travel restrictions, the lead evaluator will be home-based and will work closely with the national consultant in engaging stakeholders via virtual consultations via telephone or online (Zoom, Skype, etc.). Field missions will be conducted by the national consultant and findings shared with the lead evaluator. Furthermore, all stakeholder engagement will be strongly supported by the PMU and the UNDP MCO in Samoa.  Consideration should be taken for stakeholder availability, ability, and willingness to be interviewed remotely and the constraints this may place on the TE. These limitations must be reflected in the final TE report.  No stakeholders, consultants or UNDP staff should be put in harm’s way and safety is the key priority.


Duties and Responsibilities

The TE report will assess the achievement of project results against what was expected to be achieved and draw lessons that can both improve the sustainability of benefits from this project, and aid in the overall enhancement of UNDP programming. The TE report promotes accountability and transparency and assesses the extent of project accomplishments.

The TE will cover the full project and will be conducted according to the guidance, rules and procedures established by UNDP and GEF as reflected in the Guidance for Conducting Terminal Evaluations of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects’

The TE will assess project performance against expectations set out in the project’s Logical Framework/Results Framework (see ToR Annex A). The TE will assess results according to the criteria outlined in the ‘Guidance for Conducting Terminal Evaluations of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects’.

 

The Findings section of the TE report will cover the topics listed below. A full outline of the TE report’s content is provided in ToR Annex C.

 

The asterisk “(*)” indicates criteria for which a rating is required.

 

Findings

I. Project Design/Formulation

  • National priorities and country driven-ness
  • Theory of Change
  • Gender equality and women’s empowerment
  • Social and Environmental Standards (Safeguards)
  • Analysis of Results Framework: project logic and strategy, indicators
  • Assumptions and Risks
  • Lessons from other relevant projects (e.g. same focal area) incorporated into project design
  • Planned stakeholder participation
  • Linkages between project and other interventions within the sector
  • Management arrangements

 

II. Project Implementation

 

  • Adaptive management (changes to the project design and project outputs during implementation)
  • Actual stakeholder participation and partnership arrangements
  • Project Finance and Co-finance
  • Monitoring & Evaluation: design at entry (*), implementation (*), and overall assessment of M&E (*)
  • Implementing Agency (UNDP) (*) and Executing Agency (*), overall project oversight/implementation and execution (*)
  • Risk Management, including Social and Environmental Standards (Safeguards)

 

III. Project Results

 

  • Assess the achievement of outcomes against indicators by reporting on the level of progress for each objective and outcome indicator at the time of the TE and noting final achievements
  • Relevance (*), Effectiveness (*), Efficiency (*) and overall project outcome (*)
  • Sustainability: financial (*), socio-political (*), institutional framework and governance (*), environmental (*), overall likelihood of sustainability (*).Note that the TE team is expected to provide comments/recommendations to the project exit strategy and sustainability plan draft.
  • Country ownership
  • Gender equality and women’s empowerment
  • Cross-cutting issues (poverty alleviation, improved governance, climate change mitigation and adaptation, disaster prevention and recovery, human rights, capacity development, South-South cooperation, knowledge management, volunteerism, etc., as relevant)
  • GEF Additionality
  • Catalytic Role / Replication Effect
  • Progress to impact

 

Main Findings, Conclusions, Recommendations and Lessons Learned

 

  • The TE team will include a summary of the main findings of the TE report. Findings should be presented as statements of fact that are based on analysis of the data.
  •  The section on conclusions will be written in light of the findings. Conclusions should be comprehensive and balanced statements that are well substantiated by evidence and logically connected to the TE findings. They should highlight the strengths, weaknesses and results of the project, respond to key evaluation questions and provide insights into the identification of and/or solutions to important problems or issues pertinent to project beneficiaries, UNDP and the GEF, including issues in relation to gender equality and women’s empowerment.
  • Recommendations should provide concrete, practical, feasible, properly timed and targeted  guidance directed to the intended users of the evaluation about what actions to take and decisions to make. The recommendations should be specifically supported by the evidence and linked to the findings and conclusions around key questions addressed by the evaluation. Ideally these recommendations should be linked to the project exit strategy and sustainability plan.
  • The TE report should also include lessons that can be taken from the evaluation, including best practices in addressing issues relating to relevance, performance and success that can provide knowledge gained from the particular circumstance (programmatic and evaluation methods used, partnerships, financial leveraging, etc.) that are applicable to other GEF and UNDP interventions. When possible, the TE team should include examples of good practices in project design and implementation.
  • It is important for the conclusions, recommendations and lessons learned of the TE report to incorporate gender equality and empowerment of women.

The TE report will include an Evaluation Ratings Table, as shown below:

 

ToR Table 2: Evaluation Ratings Table for Cook Islands R2R Project

Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E)

Rating

M&E design at entry

 

M&E Plan Implementation

 

Overall Quality of M&E

 

Implementation & Execution

Rating

Quality of UNDP Implementation/Oversight

 

Quality of Implementing Partner Execution

 

Overall quality of Implementation/Execution

 

Assessment of Outcomes

Rating

Relevance

 

Effectiveness

 

Efficiency

 

Overall Project Outcome Rating

 

Sustainability

Rating

Financial resources

 

Socio-political/economic

 

Institutional framework and governance

 

Environmental

 

Overall Likelihood of Sustainability

 

 

TIMEFRAME:

The total duration of the TE will be approximately 26 working days over a time period of 8 weeks starting on 28 January 2022. The tentative TE timeframe is as follows:

 

Timeframe

Activity

5 January 2022

Application closes

28  January 2022

Selection of TE team

31 January 2022

Preparation period for TE team (handover of documentation)

 02 February 2022

Document review and preparation of TE Inception Report

04 February 2022

Finalization and Validation of TE Inception Report; latest start of TE field work

07 -18 February 2022 (10 days)

 

TE field work: stakeholder meetings, interviews, field visits, etc.

18 February 2022

TE field work wrap-up meeting & presentation of initial findings; earliest end of TE field work

22-24 February 2022

Preparation of draft TE report

25 February 2022

Circulation of draft TE report for comments

04 March 2022

Incorporation of comments on draft TE report into Audit Trail & finalization of TE report

07 March  2022

Preparation and Issuance of Management Response

09 March  2022

Expected date of full TE completion

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

 

TE DELIVERABLES:

#

Deliverable

Description

Timing

Responsibilities

1

Terminal Evaluation Inception Report

TE team clarifies objectives, methodology and timing of the TE; Options for site visits by the national consultant should be provided in the Inception Report.

Target date for signing contract & commencement of work is 28 January 2022. Inception report due no later than one week after contract signing

04 February 2022

Evaluation team submits to the Commissioning Unit and Project Management Unit

2

Presentation

Initial Findings (this includes a PPT that summarizes Initial findings and preliminary recommendations)  

18 February 2022

Evaluation team presents to the Commissioning Unit and the Project Management Unit. Sent for information only to Commissioning Unit, RTA, Project Management Unit, GEF OFP  

3

Draft Final Evaluation Report

Full report (using guidelines on report content in ToR Annex C) with annexes

Within 3 weeks of the TE field work. 25 February 2022

Sent for review to the Commissioning Unit, RTA, Project Management Unit, GEF OFP

4

Final Evaluation Report

Revised final report and TE Audit trail in which the TE details how all received comments have (and have not) been addressed in the final TE report (See template in ToR Annex H)

Within 2 weeks of receiving UNDP comments on draft: 09 March 2022

Sent to the Commissioning Unit, RTA, Project Management Unit, GEF OFP

 

*All final TE reports will be quality assessed by the UNDP Independent Evaluation Office (IEO).  Details of the IEO’s quality assessment of decentralized evaluations can be found in Section 6 of the UNDP Evaluation Guidelines

 

TE ARRANGEMENT:

The principal responsibility for managing this Terminal Evaluation resides with the Commissioning Unit. The Commissioning Unit for the National Consultant of this Terminal Evaluation is the UNDP Multi-country office for Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa and Tokelau based in Samoa (UNDP Samoa MCO).

The UNDP Multi-country office for Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa and Tokelau based in Samoa and the Cook Islands R2R Project Management Unit (PMU) will be responsible for liaising with the Evaluation team to provide all relevant documents, set up stakeholder interviews, and arrange field visits for the National Consultant, etc.

 

The Commissioning Unit will contract the evaluators and ensure the timely provision of per diems and travel arrangements within the country for the TE team. The Project Management Unit will be responsible for liaising with the TE team to provide all relevant documents, set up stakeholder interviews, and arrange field visits.

 

TE TEAM COMPOSITION:

A team of two independent evaluators will conduct the TE – one team leader (with experience and exposure to projects and evaluations in other regions) and one National Team Expert, usually from the country of the project.

The team leader will be responsible for;

  • Completion of the inception report in coordination with the National Team Expert
  • Conduct TE interviews with coordination with the National Team expert and PMU
  • The overall design, writing and completion of the TE report inclusive of audit trail and including all comments from project partners and stakeholders
  • Overall TE report quality assurance and adherence to the ‘Guidance for Conducting Terminal Evaluations of UNDP-Supported, GEF-Financed Projects’.

 

The national team expert will;

  • Work closely with the Team Leader and the PMU;
  • Contribute to the inception report including a detailed plan for interview and project site visits  
  • Develop and confirm TE interview schedule in coordination with the PMU and the Team Leader
  • Translate questionnaires if needed and share list of questions with interviewees in preparation for the TE interviews
  • Facilitate virtual (and translate if needed) interviews for the TE and conduct interviews where virtual means are unavailable
  • Conduct data collection for the TE
  • Conduct field visits to verify impact of project interventions at project sites in coordination with the Team Leader and PMU
  • Work with PMU to confirm co-financing for the project
  • Contribute to the TE report
  • Conduct and confirm any follow up data/information requirements to complete the Terminal evaluation report including audit trail.

The evaluator(s) cannot have participated in the project preparation, formulation and/or implementation (including the writing of the project document), must not have conducted this project’s Mid-Term Review and should not have a conflict of interest with the project’s related activities.

 

EVALUATOR ETHICS:

The TE team will be held to the highest ethical standards and is required to sign a code of conduct upon acceptance of the assignment. This evaluation will be conducted in accordance with the principles outlined in the UNEG ‘Ethical Guidelines for Evaluation’. The evaluator 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 evaluator 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 without the express authorization of UNDP and partners.

 

DUTY STATION:

Home-based in the Cook Islands. It is expected that the consultant will coordinating/supporting stakeholder interviews via virtual means (Zoom, skype etc.) and site visits.

SCOPE OF BID PRICE & SCHEDULE OF PAYMENTS:

 

DELIVERABLES

 

DUE DATE (%)

AMOUNT IN USD TO BE PAID AFTER CERTIFICATION BY UNDP OF SATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE OF DELIVERABLES

Upon approval and certification by the Commissioning Unit of the TE Inception Report

 

04 February 2022  (20%)

(6 days after contract signing)

$xxx

Upon approval and certification by  the Commissioning Unit of the draft Terminal Evaluation report

25 February 2022 (40%)

 

$xxx

Upon approval and certification by  the Commissioning Unit and UNDP-GEF RTA of the final Terminal Evaluation report and completed Audit Trail

09 March 2022 (40%)

$xxx

TOTAL

26 working days

$xxx

 


Competencies

Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Treats all people fairly without favouritism, and;
  • Demonstrable experience with project implementation and/or evaluation with capacity development elements.

 

Functional Competencies

  • Able to communicate effectively in writing to a varied and broad audience in a simple and concise manner;
  • Capable of working in a high- pressure environment with sharp and frequent deadlines, managing many tasks simultaneously;
  • Excellent analytical and organizational skills;
  • Exercises the highest level of responsibility and able to handle confidential and politically sensitive issues in a responsible and mature manner;
  • Works well in a team;
  • Projects a positive image and is ready to take on a wide range of tasks;
  • Focuses on results for the client;
  • Welcomes constructive feedback


Required Skills and Experience

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

Education:

  • A bachelor’s degree in Environmental Management, Biodiversity and ecosystems management or other closely related field (10 points);

Experience:

  • Minimum of 5 years of relevant professional experience in providing management or consultancy services to the multi focal area projects; in developing national and regional capacities and enabling conditions for global environmental protection and sustainable development (20 points);
  • Extensive demonstrated experience in the Niue environment and protected areas sectors, with well-established knowledge of and networks amongst government, tourism, NGO and community organisations (25 points).
  • 3 years’ experience in project evaluations, results-based management, and/or evaluation methodologies (15 points);
  • Technical knowledge in the targeted GEF focal areas: Biodiversity and International Waters (20 points)
  • Fluency in English (oral and written) is a requirement, with excellent written and presentation skills (10 points)

 

Criteria for Selection of Best Offer

  • Only those applications which are responsive and compliant will be evaluated. Incomplete applications will not be considered;
  • Offers will be evaluated according to the Combined Scoring method – where the technical criteria  will be weighted at 70% and the financial offer will be weighted at 30%;
  • Only the top 3 candidates that have achieved a minimum of 70 points (70% of 100 points) from the review of education, experience and language will be deemed technically compliant and considered for the financial evaluation;
  • The financial proposal shall specify an all-inclusive lump sum fee. In order to assist the requesting unit in the comparison of financial proposals, the financial proposal must additionally include a breakdown of this daily fee (including all foreseeable expenses to carry out the assignment);
  • Applicant receiving the Highest Combined Score and has accepted UNDP’s General Terms and Conditions will be awarded the contract.

 

APPLICATION PROCESS

Complete proposals must be submitted by 5 January 2022 through job-site. Incomplete applications will not be considered and only candidates for whom there is further interest will be contacted. Proposals must include:

 

  • CV or P11 Form indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) and at least three (3) professional references (most recent)
  • Statement of capabilities addressing the evaluation criteria of why the you consider yourself the most suitable for the assignment,
  • A brief methodology on how you will approach and conduct the work (2 pages maximum),
  • Financial Proposal specifying the daily rate in US Dollars and other expenses, if any (Annex II)

Queries about the consultancy can be directed to the UNDP Procurement Unit procurement.ws@undp.org

Download the full Terms of Reference and Templates for submission from the Procurement site link:
https://procurement-notices.undp.org/view_notice.cfm?notice_id=86851



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