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International Consultant to conduct a decentralized Project Evaluation
|Application Deadline :||06-Jun-23 (Midnight New York, USA)|
|Type of Contract :||Individual Contract|
|Post Level :||International Consultant|
|Languages Required :||English|
|Expected Duration of Assignment :||July-August 2023|
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.
APPLICATION DISCLAIMER!!! ATTENTION!!!
All interested candidates SHOULD APPLY through new UNDP Supplier Portal (Quantum), following registration via Registration link
Registration Instructions: Guide for UNDP Suppliers using Quantum portal
Negotiation ID: UNDP-UKR-00250
Please DO NOT use “APPLY” button functional in this announcement, all applications received outside Quantum system WILL NOT BE considered.
UNDP Procurement Notices: UNDP | Procurement Notices
1. PROJECT BACKGROUND and CONTEXT
On 1 January 2021, UNDP launched its new Digital, Inclusive, Accessible: Support to Digitalisation of State Services in Ukraine (DIA Support) Project. With a total duration of three years, the project is made possible due to the support of the Government of Sweden and is carried out in close collaboration with the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine (MDT) and other government stakeholders.
The ‘Your State in Your Smartphone’ initiative launched in Ukraine in 2019, would only succeed if appealing and accessible civic digital education was developed and widely implemented to help close digital gaps in knowledge and skills, and bridge the digital divide between generations and groups of Ukrainians with different social backgrounds.
Thus, the project builds on extensive UNDP experience in two areas: administrative service reform and reengineering and digitalising public administration processes with broad citizen and expert engagement. As part of the project, UNDP helps the government partners select several service clusters in use by citizens representing vulnerable groups. The state digital services are packaged to accommodate everyday needs and transposed into a fully digital format.
The DIA Support project operates on three pillars:
Specifically, DIA Support Project has been contributing to fostering digital education to help close digital gaps in knowledge and skills, and bridge the digital divide between generations and groups of Ukrainians with different social backgrounds; enhancing the accessibility of digital solutions through the design of relevant IT instruments and the creation of relevant regulatory tools; as well as promoting the development of effective, accountable, and inclusive public institutions capable of responding to the needs of women and men belonging to different groups in terms of reengineering public services.
The full-scale invasion of Russia started in February 2022 has affected Ukraine’s state reforms aspiration, however, it did not manage to significantly slow down the development of new digital solutions and innovations. To a certain extent, the digital transformation domain has been even advanced with the war, as the demand for online services had to be accelerated with security issues, not only the convenience of online delivery. The number of Diia users increased dramatically in 2022 – over 18 million users in total – as new digital services were designed to address the needs of internally displaced people (IDPs), those who were looking for social support from the government, and whose number, unfortunately, continues growing.
During 2.5 years of its implementation, the DIA Support project launched more than 30 social e-services and relevant digital tools to address the needs of Ukrainians representing, among others, vulnerable groups, e.g., IDPs, and elderly people. Over 9 million applications were submitted within newly established services, with equal access for women and men. Also, over 90% of applicants expressed their high satisfaction with the functionality of the online services. This demonstrates that regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic and war-related difficulties, the public services that were introduced with the project support are effective and accessible to the Ukrainian people.
Currently, UNDP plans to analyse the lessons learned from the DIA Support Project, conduct consultations with the key government stakeholders on strategic priorities in the area of digitalization of public governance for the next few years in order to foster digital transformation reforms and ensure the inclusiveness and accessibility of state digital solutions, as well as sustainable growth of e-services’ users and their level of satisfaction.
The main Project stakeholders are (including but not limited to):
Human-rights based approach
The HRBA framework is an essential part of the Project’s theory of change since the digitalisation of public services should be undertaken only with the ‘leave no one behind’ principle when imagining various groups of these services’ users. In essence, HRBA considerations are built into the core of the project by linking the service re-engineering process to experiences of ‘human rights and digitisation’. Specifically, HRBA is incorporated into the Project’s components by setting human rights approaches into the policy design and capacity development of the civil servants and building new digitalized/mobile-based digital services.
The cross-cutting topics of gender and sustainability are addressed through all three outputs of the Project: capacity development of civil servants, technical assistance to the Government with e-services, and awareness raising about existing e-services among the Ukrainian population. The Project strives to ensure that women and men are equally represented in all interventions and have equal access to the produced e-services. UNDP applies an equal opportunities approach in hiring and procurement practices and strives to employ a workforce that reflects the diversity and gender balance.
The gender balance is measured through the gathering (when possible) of sex-disaggregated data at activity and at results levels. The Project launched two educational programmes designed specifically for women, namely, the leadership programme for women innovators in digital transformation and the internship programme for women obtaining STEM professions. While the internship programme is successfully completed in early 2023, the leadership programme continues to be implemented till the middle of 2023.
Also, within the project's communication campaign on citizen awareness of state e-services, all media materials elaborated are typically aligned with the needs, preferences, and challenges of women and men from specific target groups. Before dissemination, the materials are pretested and modified in order to reflect the gender-oriented preferences of the target audience.
More detailed background and context information, logical framework and theory of change, monitoring plans, specific targets and indicators are available in the Project Document. The results achieved so far since the beginning of the Project as per the logical framework, along with the project mid-term review report and other project documentation, will be provided.
Duties and Responsibilities
2. PURPOSE, SCOPE AND OBJECTIVES OF THE ASSIGNMENT
In line with Article X. of the Financing Agreement with the Government of Sweden, represented by the Sweden International Development Cooperation Agency, signed on 11 November 2020, Project Document and Workplan, UNDP seeks to conduct a final Project Evaluation (PE). The nature of PE is largely a management tool to provide the Project team and stakeholders with an account of results against the initial plans, Project Document and Financing Agreement, provide recommendations and guide further Sweden’s and UNDP’s interventions.
The main objective of the assignment is to conduct the final evaluation of the Project “Digital, Inclusive, Accessible: Support to Digitalisation of Public Services in Ukraine (DIA Support)”. The purpose of the evaluation is three-fold and aims (1) to analyse the implementation of the Project in 2021-2023, its relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability and coherence, particularly in consideration of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation; (2) to draw the lessons learnt, including viable suggestions on operational directions, which could be sharpened and further enhanced in the follow-up Project phase; (3) to provide recommendations and inform the development of further Sweden’s and UNDP’s interventions accounting for the ongoing war and its impact on governmental partners as well as for the need of further UNDP’s assistance. This will not only support accountability, inform decision-making and allow UNDP and the Project Board to better manage development results but also pave the way towards the development of the follow-up phase of Sweden’s and UNDP’s intervention. The scope of the PE will cover activities undertaken by the Project from its start until the end of June 2023.
Given the nature of the Evaluation, the International Consultant will cooperate with the National Consultant to:
This PE will assess Project performance against the review criteria, as outlined in the UNDP Evaluation Guidelines, based on OECD-DAC evaluation criteria: relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability, and coherence. The International Consultant should also address how the Project applied the human rights-based approach and gender mainstreaming in development efforts. The evaluation will be carried out (home-based) between 1 July and 31 August 2023. The PE should be conducted in accordance with the guidance, rules and procedures established by UNDP and as reflected in the UNDP Evaluation Policy.
3. EVALUATION CRITERIA AND QUESTIONS
When suggesting a methodology for conducting the evaluation, the evaluators must utilize an evaluation matrix to translate the theory of change and its established framework of direct and indirect results into a comprehensive set of measurable categories for evaluative analysis. This matrix should be designed in a way that effectively encompasses the dimensions of gender equality and human rights.
The below presents a set of preliminary questions that the evaluators are suggested to address in their proposed approach, following the OECD DAC evaluation criteria. The final list of evaluation questions and tools is to be proposed by the International Consultant in coordination with the National Consultant and agreed with UNDP in an Inception report. All evaluation questions should mainstream gender and will be screened by UNDP’s Gender Specialist.
4. EVALUATION APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
In cooperation with the National Consultant, the International Consultant will be required to facilitate the usage of different methods to ensure that data gathering and analysis deliver evidence-based qualitative and quantitative information, based on diverse sources including project reports, survey results, individual meetings etc. This approach will not only enable the Project Evaluation to assess causality through qualitative and quantitative means but also provide reasons for why certain results were achieved or not and to triangulate information for higher reliability of findings. The concrete mixed methodological approach will be detailed in the Inception report and stated in the Final report. All data provided in the report should be disaggregated, where possible, by sex and other social variables. Furthermore, the evaluation methods and sampling frame should address the diversity of stakeholders affected by the Project. Ethical standards are required throughout the evaluation and all stakeholder groups are to be treated with integrity and respect for confidentiality.
The International Consultant is expected to encourage the usage of a participatory and consultative approach ensuring close engagement with government counterparts, civil society partners, the Swedish Embassy in Ukraine (SE), UNDP Country Office (CO) and Project team at all stages of the evaluation planning and implementation. The evaluation will assess the extent to which the Project was successfully mainstreamed with UNDP Strategic Plan given the current country context.
The evaluation of Project performance will be carried out against the expectations set out in the Project Results Framework, which provides performance and impact indicators for Project implementation along with their corresponding means of verification. All indicators in the Results Framework need to be assessed individually, with final achievements noted. An assessment of the Project M&E design, implementation and overall quality should be undertaken. The evaluation will assess the key financial aspects of the Project, including Project budget revisions. Project cost and funding data will be required from the Project, including annual expenditures. Variances between planned and actual expenditures will need to be assessed and explained. The evaluation also should include the value of money aspect – the minimum purchase price (economy) but also the maximum efficiency and effectiveness of the purchase.
The conclusions related to the implementation of the Project from its start until the end of June 2023 should be comprehensive and balanced, and highlight the strengths, weaknesses, challenges and outcomes of the Project. They should be well substantiated by the evidence and logically linked to the progress evaluation findings. They should 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 Sweden.
The recommendations for adaptive management to improve the Project over the remaining part of its lifetime and guide further Sweden’s and UNDP’s interventions in the area of digital transformation with a focus on war response, recovery and resilience building, should identify how best practices and achievements of the Project can be scaled up or proliferated to better respond to the emerging needs and priorities of the governmental partners, as well as to adapt/strengthen the theory of change of the Project, based on interviews with Project partners and beneficiaries and desk analysis (please see below). The recommendations need to be supported by an evidential basis, be credible, practical, and action-oriented, and define who is responsible for the action to have the potential to be used in decision-making. It is expected that the International Consultant will contribute to producing up to 5 recommendations addressing the execution of the remaining part of the current Project phase and framing the development of the potential Project follow-up phase.
The International Consultant should also contribute to a proposed design, methodology of evaluation (methods, approaches to be used, with particular focus on addressing gender-specific issues and inclusion of relevant SDGs, evaluation criterion for assessment of each component to be proposed), detailed work plan and report structure to UNDP prior to the start of fieldwork; these documents and the list of stakeholders to meet should be agreed with UNDP. The evaluation products should take into account gender and human rights issues. While proposing the methodology, the International Consultant should be guided by the UNDP approach to Project evaluations.
The methodology will be based on the following:
1.Desk review of the documents listed below (including but not limited to):
2.Interviews/group discussions with key partners and stakeholders, which can be conditionally divided into the following groups:
3. Independent surveys that are needed for identifying the outcome level results in specific groups of beneficiaries including Ukrainian citizens with vulnerabilities, civic servants participating in the project’s capacity development interventions etc.
The interviews are aimed to examine how the partners and stakeholders assess the Project, their concerns and feedback. The Consultant will need to collect and analyse needs and suggestions and provide recommendations/vision on how future Sweden’s and UNDP’s interventions could address those. A debriefing session will be also arranged for discussing the evaluation findings, results and recommendations.
Since the evaluation is mostly to be carried out virtually, consideration should be taken for stakeholders’ availability, as well as their ability or willingness to be interviewed remotely. Given the remote nature of the assignment, field and observational visits will not be applicable; meanwhile, the focus group discussions might be organized online. All types of limitations (if any) in terms of data collection should be reflected in the final report.
5. EVALUATION PRODUCTS (KEY DELIVERABLES)
In cooperation with the National Consultant, the International Consultant should provide the following deliverables:
Payment will be based upon the satisfactory completion of deliverables upon review and acceptance by UNDP. 100% of the total amount shall be paid upon completion of the Deliverables 1-5.
6. IMPLEMENTATION ARRANGEMENTS
A team of two (2) independent consultants will conduct the evaluation: one (1) international team leader (with experience and practice of participation in projects and evaluations in other regions of the world) and one (1) national expert, which will work in close cooperation with and under the guidance of the international consultant.
In close cooperation with the National Consultant, the International Consultant will interact with UNDP Project and CO Staff to receive any clarifications and guidance that may be needed. UNDP Project and CO Staff will provide the Consultant with administrative and logistical support, as well as required data and documentation. UNDP Programme Analyst will also connect the Consultant with the wider programme unit, senior management and key evaluation stakeholders, review and approve inception reports including evaluation questions and methodologies, review and comment on draft evaluation reports, circulate draft and final evaluation reports, collect and consolidate comments on draft evaluation reports and share with the Consultant for finalization of the evaluation report. The satisfactory completion of each of the deliverables shall be subject to the endorsement of the UNDP Evaluation Manager.
The Consultant will inform UNDP of any problems, issues or delays arising during the implementation of the assignment and take necessary steps to address them.
The key product expected is a comprehensive evaluation report (with the parameters indicated above). The report must be as free as possible of technical jargon in order to ensure accessibility to its wide and diverse audience. The report should be in line with UNDP’s principles of gender-responsive communication and should be prepared in English.
All reports and results are to be submitted to the UNDP in electronic form (*.docx, *.xlsx, *.pptx, and *.pdf or other formats accepted by UNDP).
This evaluation will be conducted in accordance with the principles outlined in the UNEG ‘Ethical Guidelines for Evaluation’. 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 the collection of data and reporting of data. The Consultant should respect differences and accord equal space and dignity regardless of interviewees’ gender, race, sexual preference, ethnicity, ability, or other markers of identity. The Consultant must also ensure the 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.
All information and products produced by the Consultant under this assignment will remain the property of UNDP Ukraine.
 UNEG, ‘Ethical Guidelines for Evaluation’, June 2008. Available at http://www.uneval.org/search/index.jsp?q=ethical+guidelines
7. EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS REQUIREMENTS
8. DOCUMENTS TO BE INCLUDED WHEN SUBMITTING THE PROPOSALS
Required Skills and Experience
9. EVALUATION CRITERIA
10. EVALUATION METHOD:
Contract award shall be made to the incumbent whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:
a) responsive/compliant/acceptable, and
b) having received the cumulative highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.
* Technical Criteria weight: 70%
* Financial Criteria weight: 30%
Only candidates obtaining a minimum 70% of the maximum available technical score (49 points) would be considered for the Financial Evaluation
The maximum number of points assigned to the financial proposal is allocated to the lowest price proposal and will be equal to 30. All other price proposals will be evaluated and assigned points, as per the below formula:
30 points [max points available for the financial part] x [lowest of all evaluated offered prices among responsive offers] / [evaluated price].
The proposal obtaining the overall cumulatively highest score after adding the score of the technical proposal and the financial proposal will be considered the most compliant offer and will be awarded a contract.
11. FINANCIAL PROPOSAL
Lump sum contract
The financial proposal shall specify a total lump sum amount, and payment terms around specific and measurable (qualitative and quantitative) deliverables (i.e. whether payments fall in instalments or upon completion of the entire contract). Payments are based upon output, i.e. upon delivery of the services specified in the ToR. In order to assist the requesting unit in the comparison of financial proposals, the financial proposal will include a breakdown of this lump sum amount (including the number of anticipated working days).
Travel costs are not applicable. In the case of unforeseeable travel, payment of travel costs including tickets, lodging and terminal expenses should be agreed upon between UNDP and the Consultant prior to travel, and will be reimbursed. The BSAFE course must be successfully completed before the commencement of travel. Individual Consultant is responsible for ensuring they have vaccinations/inoculations when travelling to certain countries, as designated by the UN Medical Director. A Consultant is required to comply with the UN security directives set forth under https://dss.un.org/dssweb/